[DRAFT] - Simplify the Developer DAO Improvement Proposal (DDIP) Process

Authors: @kempsterrrr , @Erik_Knobl

Previous discussion:

Summary

The proposal updates the DDIP process in the following ways:

  • Removes the forum vote stage and introduces a new mechanism of qualifying how proposals can be elevated to Snapshot.
  • Further simplifies for DDIP process by removing the “Conversation” stage, allowing the proposal to immediately enter the forum stage, shifting the focus of all Governance conversations more towards the forum.
  • Clarifies the process for how a member joins the allowlist of members who have the ability to elevate the proposal to snapshot (and directs a new conversation to be started on re-considering how the allow list currently works).
  • Lowers the threshold for a member to join the allowlist from 50,000 $CODE to 25,000 $CODE
  • Introduces clarity on how we handle certain edges cases

Motivation

This proposal has the following goals:

  • Speed up the DDIP process to increase Governance momentum in the DAO
  • Simplify and better document the DDIP process to increase engagement and participation in Governance
  • Clarifying the path through which DAO members can attain permissions to elevate proposals to Snapshot
  • Lowering the threshold for members to join our Governance allowlist

Scope of Work

Below is an updated proposal for our DDIP process to achieve the stated motivations above.

You can find the original DDIP process here.

What is a DDIP?

A Developer DAO Improvement Proposal (DDIP) is a proposal that seeks to enact a change or changes regarding how the DAO is governed.

DDIPs should be limited to the following areas:

  • Any decision that impacts the Treasury balance or allocation that is not already accounted for in a previous proposal.
  • Anything that impacts the Governance of the DAO
  • Anything that impacts the “The Developer DAO Foundation.”

Anything outside of this can be performed freely within pre-determined structures and mechanisms in the DAO.

Note, the Directors and the Supervisor of the Developer DAO Foundation are subject to their fiduciary duty to uphold the Articles and Bylaws of the Foundation and ensure actions remain with the law of the Cayman Islands and they reserver the right to block DDIPs that compel them to act otherwise.

As per the bylaws, the DAO retains the right to change the Articles and Bylaws of the Foundation via DDIP, so long as changes do not fall outside of the laws related to the Foundation that superseded the Bylaws. The DAO also retains the right to dissolve the Foundation as its representative entity should it so choose via DDIP.

Who can create a DDIP?

Any DAO member can submit a DDIP. Only members of our Governance allowlist can elevate forum proposals to Snapshot for a binding off-chain vote by the community. To be eligible for elevation to Snapshot, at least 50% of the existing members of this allowlist must comment on the proposal on the forum.

Once this threshold has been reached, any one of them can elevate to a vote.

A record of members with this privilege is maintained on Snapshot under “members” here.

Our Governance allow list currently consists of original core team members. Any DAO Member can apply to be added to this list if they hold over 25,000 $CODE tokens (the $CODE distributed to the original core team at Genesis).

To apply, members must submit a DDIP proposal requesting their inclusion detailing how they intend to use the privilege to support the DAO’s mission. Once over 50% of existing allowlist members have commented on their application, any allow list member can elevate their request to Snapshot for a vote locked to existing allowlist members.

Existing allow list members can rescind this privilege at any time. Any member can also submit a DDIP to remove a member of the allowlist, which must follow the process outlined above for including a member with a majority vote of existing allowlist members resulting in one’s removal.

How does the DDIP process work?

DDIPs must follow the process and format specified below to qualify for our Governance process:

Discussions

Most governance discussions before a Proposal should take place on the official Developer DAO forum. This is to ensure the community has all the information it needs to make an informed decision about proposals and to provide transparency into what was decided, what was done, and why. Certain discussions, which are often cross-stream governance discussions, would also take place in the weekly DAO Coordination call or at community-wide Town Halls.

Discussions are not required but strongly recommended, as transparent Governance is essential to a healthy DAO.

Proposal

Any member can post a DDIP to the forum for debate using this template. The proposal should be posted to the Proposals forum category with the title “DRAFT - Insert Proposal Name”.

Once the below requirements are met, any existing member of the Governance allowlist can elevate the proposal to SnapShot for a binding vote.

Quorum Requirement: A minimum of 50% of existing members of the Governance allowlist must comment on the proposal.

Time requirement: A minimum of 120 hours must pass before a proposal can be elevated from the Forum to Snapshot.

Snapshot Vote

Only DDIPs that have successfully met the requirements for the Forum discussion can be elevated to Snapshot. Snapshot votes use the same template as the Forum discussion however their title should be updated to “P:NUMBER - Proposal Name” and must include a vote of all DAO members with the following options:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

To pass, Snapshot votes require needs a simple majority.

All successful DDIPs must be shared with the Foundation supervisor and directors on the following email address to check for legality before execution and for records to be kept at the Foundation:

Quorum requirement: A minimum of 2% total circulating $CODE will constitute a quorum.

Time requirement: A minimum of 120 hours (5 days) must pass before a voting decision can be determined.

Edge Cases

Conflicts of interest

Members are expected to abstain from votes that directly benefit themselves (i.e. voting to pass a budget request that rewards them). Such violations will render votes invalid unless corrected before the Snapshot vote ends.

Conflicting proposals

Conflicting proposals are proposals that are active at the same time and address the same issue.

In the case of a conflicting proposal, the 5-day proposal discussion period can also serve as a time for community members to provide their preferred alternative.

If a conflict still exists at the end of the discussion period, a Snapshot vote will be put forward that includes all the possible options from the conflicting proposals.

Drawbacks

  • Reduces the amount of inherent Sybil resistance in DDIP by removing the forum vote stage.
  • Whilst it clarifies how a member can join the Governance allowlist, this still remains a very small group of people in the DAO.
  • It still does not fully clarify the Steward role in Governance

Votes

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

Next Steps

If this vote passes in the affirmative, the following actions must be taken within 120 hours (5 days).

  • An updated breakdown of DDIP must be posted to the Governance forum and pinged to the top of the Proposal category.
  • An updated version of the DDIP template should be posted to the forum and pinned to the top of the Proposal category under the DDIP process.
  • An updated breakdown of DDIP must be posted to the home page of the DAOs wiki and included for consumption during DAO onboarding.
6 Likes

Edits:

  1. Added line to summary highlight the addition of process for handle edge cases
  2. Added line to motivation highlight the lowering of the Governance threshold
2 Likes

An element of this process I think could do with further thought before formalising the vote is how we improve engagement in DDIP. Some ideas:

  • Require at least 1 of the proposal authors to participate in a synchronous discussion with the community (maybe a Twitter space or internal community call)
  • Require all proposal to be shared with the community beyond the forum, potentially in the following ways:
    • Announcement post in discord tagging the DDIP role
    • Announcement on Twitter highlight a new proposal for those who might miss the forum or discord post notifications.

Would be very interested for input/ideas/feedback here from @governance-steward and community guild - @luan @meowy @myz1237.eth @aakansha12

In favour of this. If I recall, I’d previously suggested back in August or so, potentially holding an office hours type of situation, to walk people through proposals. Perhaps some derivative of both paths, might be beneficial. Keen to know what others think of such :thought_balloon:

Also in favour of this.

FYI

As I mentioned on the Google doc earlier, I’ve a 9PM meeting on 29th November that relates to some of this - and will hopefully offer me some additional context. I feel like there’s something I’m still missing. Will follow up in 48hrs or so.

1 Like

thanks for putting all this together and I’m catching up on work after taking time off for holidays to be with family. will work to follow up on this before DAO Coordinator call later this week

1 Like

Dope. Having Stewed on this a little more I’d like us to have more Twitter Spaces for Governance, ENS do this and I’ve always thought it worked well. Still thinking about other ways we can improve async proposal discussion.

:eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:

Noiiice. I hope you had a good time with the fammo :slight_smile:

Coordination call is great, trying to lift as much conversation as possible onto the forum as well so please share way !!

Looks good to me.

We can definitely see an improved flow to the governance process and it’s much easier to understand where D_D members need to implement changes. A diagram will be a good addition too, especially for visual learners.

It’s in the original DDIP, but I’d suggest adding what changes a DDIP can make.

Great shout regarding the visual, I will create this and share it later today.

@Bobbay how am I doing with these visuals? Lmk if you think they can be improved!

Current Governance & it’s issues

  • Min 15 days to get something to pass
  • Struggle to get a voting quorum on the forum
  • Often delays between forum vote and snapshot
  • We’re asking members to vote twice, which doesn’t seem to make much sense

Suggested new Governance

  • Remove vote duplication
  • Speed up the fastest route to proposal passing by five days

Taking inspiration from Gitcoin’s Governance breakdown, is this one for the updated DDIP process better?

Note, the Directors and the Supervisor of the Developer DAO Foundation are subject to their fiduciary duty to uphold the Articles and Bylaws of the Foundation and ensure actions remain with the law of the Cayman Islands and they reserver the right to block DDIPs that compel them to act otherwise.

As per the bylaws, the DAO retains the right to change the Articles and Bylaws of the Foundation via DDIP, so long as changes do not fall outside of the laws related to the Foundation that superseded the Bylaws. The DAO also retains the right to dissolve the Foundation as its representative entity should it so choose via DDIP.

Do we need this addition or could we leave it out to clean the DDIP as that process is already in place?

1 Like

Quorum Requirement: A minimum of 50% of existing members of the Governance allowlist must comment on the proposal.

I am not loving replacing the forum vote with this comment requirement. First, it gives the existing members veto power. Second, as it just requires comments a comment that is meant to encourage future discussion or disagree with the proposal.

We are hoping to avoid stalling at the forum stage. We did not want to reduce the forum voting quorum because of possible sybil attacks on the forum votes.

I suggest we move to a Discord vote with a reduced quorum. The Discord vote will be protected by the membership token-gating, ensuring only members are voting. This will let us reduce the voting requirement and move quickly.

The poll can be created at the same time as the forum posting and run for 5 days. This will add no time to the new process.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback and suggestion. Hearing the concerns. For context, the approach was inspired by Gitcoin’s approach.

I don’t believe moving the vote from one place to another is an answer. Core to these suggested changes is the view that asking people to vote on the same things twice feels like a bad UX for members who actually want to participate.

Regardless of where or how those votes are done. cc @Erik_Knobl @luan

In current wording, they collectively have a veto, but no single person does. So long as > 50% (imagine we’d make this a number as the list grows) have shared their views, all it needs is one of these people to support it for it to be elevated. This is basically how budgets work currently although reading back it’s not totally clear here this was the intention. Will amend.

As more people join this group, that power gets decentralised relatively quickly into the hands of folks who’ve contributed which gives us a nice path to decentralising leadership whilst maintaining Sybil resistance.

Think it’s important we have somewhere that “if you submit a proposal that asks the foundation directors to break the law, it will be rejected” - is there another place you’d suggest we have it?

It makes me think, though… if there is a possibility of the law’s being broken, checking that after the vote might not make the most sense :joy:. I am unsure exactly how to handle this but I will stew on it and take a look at other Governance structures and would love any ideas!

@Bobbay would be good to know how the org’s you’re a delegate in handle this

  1. All members with power to move proposals to snapshot have soft veto power somehow. The question here is: is that really a bad thing?
  2. Agreed, more clarification on “comments” may be needed @kempsterrrr
  3. Interested to hear the rationale behind having two votes in a single process. What is this step trying to accomplish?
1 Like

Thoughts on this :point_up:?

I feel we need people engaging and sharing their views, good or bad, and once enough people who have contributed a lot (enough $CODE to be on the allowlist) have shared their views, it’s OK to go to a vote. I don’t feel any arbitrary rules would help, tbh. I would prefer to see more stuff get to snapshot and be rejected than less stuff, and it all gets accepted as feels healthier for Governance.

I would suggest more definition on what a “comment” is. Should they clearly endorse/reject the proposal? Asking for clarification counts? A neutral comment counts?
Otherwise, yes, I agree with the overall proposal.

I’m leaning towards not putting any specific requirements into the comments for a few reasons:

  • as the DAO continues to decentralise, my hypothesis is how much someone participates correlates quite strongly to how much value people place on their comments/opinions. feels more natural to let people engage how they want, and then members can judge based on that. suspect this will become more important if/when we introduce delegation.

  • we also don’t know the answers to what is right and what is wrong. a primary goal for this proposal is to speed up Governance and get us to do it more. the hypothesis here is the more rules there are, the fewer folks will participate

  • this approach IMHO encourage people who want to influence to think freely and get involved in governance, campaign for their own ideas/suggestions/changes in their own way

Ofc interested in seeing what some criteria here might look like if folks have ideas

cc: @Erik_Knobl & @kempsterrrr

I just view our DAO as very different than Gitcoin - it’s formation, financial control, etc. And thus the governance process should reflect that.

A smaller quorum vote that allows DAO members to control what moves forward and what doesn’t seems more democratic. I don’t necessarily buy it’s a bad UX if we have users opt-in to the role that notifies users of a pre-vote.

I do think if we keep it as proposed with the comments, it’s still good and an improvement on the current process.