P-21: Simplifying 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" including it’s Articles and ByLaws.

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.

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

Vote

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

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

How tied are we to this and what history do we have to support it?

1 Like

Seems low at first glance but I think that is within the standard range for governance design atm.

1 Like

We’re by no means permanently tied to it but think it’s important we pass this proposal rather than pause it and start again given timelines for S2 rapidly approaching. One of the main goals of this proposal is to speed up Governance and get more meaningful votes so thresholds are low intentionally to act as a forcing function for us to engage with Governance.

What’s on your mind?

Comment? What kind of comment, like I agree with it, or I partialy agree with it, but you have to change xx.

Did we miss a sentence above this: Once the below requirements are met, any existing member of the Governance allowlist can elevate the proposal to SnapShot for a binding vote ?

What if there is kind of conflict or it is illegal for our foundation? I think we should move the Foundation checking to the forum discussion part.
Otherwise, the community passes it, but foundation says no. It does not make sense

1 Like

thanks for all the feedback @myz1237.eth :pray:

@Erik_Knobl raised similar questions on this :slight_smile:

My hypothesis is the more granular we were with “what must someone comment” the less likely they are to comment/engage with Governance. Keeping up to speed with Governance is hard and I think making it much easier for things to get to the snapshot will force us to engage with the process more.

caveat this process (and no process) is perfect but goals are to speed up and simplify Governance as much as possible

I don’t think so. This proposal removes the forum vote stage and the “rule” for elevating something to snapshot is 50% comments by allow listed members, then for the vote on Snapshot it’s > 2% of circulating $CODE supply

This is a very good point. Essentially this role is performed by me at the moment and the liaison between the DAO and foundation team so I can do this. Agree it makes sense to change this with a future update but don’t think we should stop this vote to do that given we’re really struggling to reach the required 100 votes already and repeating the vote would likely make that much harder.

1 Like

Agreed.

Bringing everyone back to this:

Link

You guys started this DAO as founding members. In my book that is a good qualification to be on an allow list. If someone else is proposed to be/proposes themself to be on it. let them do it, and let the community have a conversation about it, but please take the money aspect out of the equation i.e. 25000 or 50000 or whatever. This is just riddled with privilege, class and suppression. Anything to do with people having the potential to buy their way to the top just stinks and has got nothing to do with a decentralised, bottom-up organisation and therefore anti-crypto in my mind. This honestly makes me feel deeply saddened. Weighted voting also tends to fall into a similar category, quadratic, or not, in my mind.

1 Like

There are two elements to enter the list:

  1. Contributions to the community (measured with tokens)
  2. Acceptance of the community (measured with the DDIP vote).
    A person can’t just buy his/her entry to the list. He/she must be accepted by the community. And from my side, any newcomer just buying tokens and requesting entry to to the list will receive a negative vote. Open to discuss changes to the token requirement, but I do feel it’s a good representation of effort done in supporting the community. What would you replace it with?

I’m not sure, but I think you are replying to me @Erik_Knobl, are you?

I suggested not using tokens at all to put people into these roles, but that they can put forward themselves with their motivation, or someone else does e.g. the founders, or a certain number of community members vouches for them and they/the person presents their motivation to the rest of the
community/it goes to a DAO proposal.

I think the weighted voting idea is in my mind self-defeating and also off-putting. If the idea here is to get more people involved in the governance and one has more tokens than the other, you tend to think “what’s the point?” - someone has thousands, and you only have a few. It will also lead to factionalism - and before we know it, we have the same defunct and polarising political systems we have around the world, with political parties effectively - inside our DAOs. And it’s present in other DAOs in one form or another.

Just for context I’ve got 2693 $code to my name. I’m awaiting some from the projects I work on, but it would take me a long time to get a zero on the end of that to qualify the role.

Our governance model is flawed in the same way it is in any voluntary governance environment. Like around the world we see these voluntary town hall type events, where it mostly the yay-sayers against the nay-sayers, but you don’t get that fuzzy 80% of the people in the middle showing up to voice their opinion. I’ve already made suggestions as to decision making process in the form of deliberation.

We are an opt-in community, and with that comes responsibility to make it thrive. I suggest that we call people up in a compulsory way with sortition (like jury-service or as with citizen’s assemblies) to deliberate on the proposals that come forward - there is what’s called ‘the wisdom of the crowd’. We just need to dare to do it and make it become our culture.

“I suggested not using tokens at all to put people into these roles, but that they can put forward themselves with their motivation”

Couldn’t people just be motivated to nominate themselves and people vote with their $CODE token? I mean either way, it would be a popularity issue but that is with or without $CODE token voting.

you tend to think “what’s the point?” - someone has thousands

That could also be argued the other way around. Not enough gets done because there is are too many steps, which then leads to “what’s the point”? I know a few people that feel this way.

Our governance model is flawed in the same way it is in any voluntary governance environment. Like around the world we see these voluntary town hall type events, where it mostly the yay-sayers against the nay-sayers, but you don’t get that fuzzy 80% of the people in the middle showing up to voice their opinion. I’ve already made suggestions as to decision making process in the form of deliberation.

Could you link to the suggestions, and perhaps why the suggestions haven’t been accepted?

We are an opt-in community, and with that comes responsibility to make it thrive. I suggest that we call people up in a compulsory way with sortition (like jury-service or as with citizen’s assemblies) to deliberate on the proposals that come forward - there is what’s called ‘the wisdom of the crowd’.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this proposal is a first step to be able to introduce things like this, or at least make it easier. Compulsory could also come in the form of delegation.

@manny aside from the question to Erik, my first paragraph relates solely to the 25000 / 50000 role for each person who might fill that role. It doesn’t in any way allude to the use of token voting of other DAO members.

I’m not at all referring to steps that form the governance process. Only the weight that individuals have in their wallet to make a difference to an outcome.

Would you somewhat agree to the assertion I made about involvement in the deliberation process (here in the forum) and that 80% of people don’t get involved? (I’ll drop a link at the end)

Delegation results in factions and political parties. It’s inevitable, and it’s showing in DAO around the ecosystem. It can be beneficial for some things, but it’s not a one size fits all. Same as with the simplistic side of voting that we have. Good for some things, but not for tricky stuff. And that will come the more mature the DAO becomes. I’ve been saying this stuff for a long time now.

When I mentioned compulsory, I wasn’t talking about compulsory voting - which doesn’t guarantee any meaningful engagement in the subject matter, I was talking about actually deliberating i.e. doing exactly what you and I are doing now. Using sortition to select a deliberation panel for (each) proposal(s). When we create a culture where everyone has the potential to be called up, it brings governance to everyone’s doorstep. Then when it comes to actually doing the final votes, many more people will actually be engaged, because the potential to engage deeply is always present. Here is one of many places and conversations where I brought up using sociocracy, which can/could play an integral role in the deliberation process: Discord
I’ve mentioned this many times in different contexts. I don’t really have the bandwidth on my own to get something like this up and running on my own, and I’m not going to do it if there isn’t any support, or enthusiasm. But I see the writing on the wall for the future of the models that have been used until now in the context of DAOs.

The question we need to ask ourselves is what type of governance model are we trying to replicate and why? What’s right or wrong with it? Has it solved the problems we are trying to solve, or has it exasperated them? Or are we trying to create something new? And what is it? Did we have those questions before we got started, or did we all get excited about ‘on-chain voting’ and follow the narrative in the web3 sphere?

When the Greeks, I’m sure they weren’t the first, did democracy way back when, albeit theirs riddled with patriarchy, populism, racism and classism, they had a rotation of citizens who deliberated on how to move society forward. It was based on the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ who all had their own life experience to bring dimension to society as a whole, and who sought input from experts, as opposed to a ‘crowd of wise people’, aka experts making the decisions/proposals.

The sortition process can be easily done. We create a soulbound private token for everyone where they put their demographics (and whatever we think is relevant) on it and when there is a need to call them up for deliberation, we can use a ZKs to choose them. If they fail to show up on X number of occasions, they get a sanction. We have a couple of people in reserve who fit their profile as back up if we need it. Nobody forced us to join the DAO, and if we don’t want it to succeed, should we be here?

@Piablo haven’t had a chance to read all the above comments but I wanted to highlight a proposed changed in [DRAFT] - DAO Governance Structure Upgrade. This switches the allowlist from $CODE holdings to elected Stewards. Curious as to your thoughts on this being an improvement, or not?

I have been reading up on Integrative decision-making that I think could be useful amongst the Stewards (and generally across the DAO), which I think you have suggested in the past.

1 Like

Really sorry @kempsterrrr ,
I saw your message come in the other day, and am only getting back to it now.

Definitely think this is a great ‘people’ option to choose over the ‘money talks’ option.

If you ever wanna sit/set up a synchronous brainstorm for this DM me - in case I miss it in a public channel - I’d be happy to get involved.

We can connect it to XP level on Crew3. I am tinkering with this community tool and it seems to have a lot of usability for Developer DAO. That would make contributions towards the community more quantifiable.

“Couldn’t people just be motivated to nominate themselves and people vote with their $CODE token? I mean either way, it would be a popularity issue but that is with or without $CODE token voting.”

^^^
This I really like. Similar to how Eden introduced theirs voaching mechanism.