Solidarity Project: Analytical Tools

DGov Score Framework

Researchers: Charles Adjovu & Jack Smye; Writer: Charles Adjovu

Scout Stork.

Preamble

The Distributed Governance (DGov) Score is a further formalization of our preliminary research conducted in Project Statis during May — July 2019, and is inspired by the DeFi Score by Consenys Researchers.

The DGov Score is a point-based analytic framework for evaluating and comparing DGov organizations (e.g., DAO v. DAO).

The name “DGov Score” and the continuation of work from Project Statis was initially conceived on the DGov Foundation forums.

You may find the DGov Foundation link and Github link below in the References section.

Current Formalization

We have formalized the framework again into a 3-step procedure:

  1. Determine where the organization falls under the organizational dimensions (use components as needed);
  2. Determine the mission, capacity, and objectives of the organization (use components as needed); and
  3. Determine the effectiveness of the organization (use components as needed).

The 3-step process is based on Fitchett, L.L. (2019). The Roles of Local Organizations in Collaborative Resource Governance: A Qualitative Case Study of Lake Associations.

Throughout each step, the components are used as necessary to help evaluate the organization.

Organization Dimensions

The 5 organization dimensions are:

  • decentralization: “ the locus of authority in decision-making”
  • formalization: “relevance of codes and procedures for coordination”
  • integration/coordination: “describes the degree to which organizations coordinate activities between individuals and
    functions through formal coordination mechanisms “
  • specialization /complexity: “degree of functional professionalism and expertise in tasks”
  • departmentalization: “specialized units oriented towards specific markets, projects, and clients”

Initial Formalization

We initially formalized the DGov Score into 10 categories, with components under each category.

Categories

The current categories are as follows:

  • membership (internal actors);
  • decision-making protocols;
  • governing bodies;
  • governance metrics;
  • binding documents, rules & regulations;
  • principles and values, vision, mission, and objectives;
  • external actors;
  • organizational structure (e.g., hierarchical);
  • opportunities; and
  • history.

Some of these categories overlap. If it is determined that the overlap is non-negligible, then we plan to remove the category.

Components

Membership:

  • Joining and Leaving Process;
  • Rights granted;
  • Duties and Obligations;
  • Costs associated;
  • Membership Classes;
  • Voting power; and
  • Stakeholders (may be duplicative of Membership Classes).

Decision-making protocols:

  • Number of protocols employed;
  • Tools for decision-making;
  • Types of decisions; and
  • Number of historic decisions.

Governing bodies:

  • Number of governing bodies;
  • Types of governing bodies;
  • Purpose and practices of governing bodies;
  • Membership requirements of governing bodies;
  • Presence of advisory council; and
  • Location of governing bodies.

Governance metrics:

  • Number of governance proposals submitted;
  • Number of governance proposals accepted / submitted;
  • Number of governance proposals rejected / submitted;
  • Number of governance proposals dead or dormant / submitted;
  • Number of governance platforms;
  • Number of votes / eligible voters;
  • Frequency of communication of governance decisions to the public;
  • Frequency of releases of important documents (e.g., financing reports, annual reports) (preferably on a yearly basis);
  • Number of new members joining over a period of time (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.);
  • Number of current members leaving over a period of time (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.); and
  • Number of historic decisions.

Binding documents, rules and regulations (“BDRR”):

  • Number of enabling documents (e.g., manifesto or constitution);
  • Existence of BDRR;
  • Relative adherence to BDRR;
  • Legitimacy of BDRR;
  • Relative automation of BDRR;
  • Penalties for noncompliance with BDRR; and
  • Frequency of BDRR amendments.

Principles and values, vision, mission, and objectives (PVVMO):

  • Formalized PVVMO;
  • Existence of PVVMO;
  • Relative adherence to PVVMO; and
  • Frequency of PVVMO formal or informal changes.

External actors:

  • Relative influence (positive or negative) of external actors on governance changes or execution;
  • Relative presence of collusion between members and external actors;
  • Relative possibility for third party capture (e.g., 51% attack or corporate capture);
  • Existence of community protocol for external actors;
  • Relative acceptance of ideas, contributions and critiques by external actors;
  • Relative respect for external actors in similar fields;
  • Relative respect for external actors in dissimilar fields;
  • Existence of global communication channels; and
  • Existence of brand guide.

Organizational structure (e.g., hierarchial):

  • Relative level of hierarchy;
  • Types of governance systems (e.g., sociocracy, holacracy);
  • Relative practice of democratic governance systems (e.g., sociocracy);
  • Relative promotion of collaboration among members; and
  • Type of organizational culture.

Opportunities:

  • Probability of being allocated greater responsibilities;
  • Probability of being allocated greater voting power;
  • Potential for growth within the organization; and
  • Potential for growth outside the organization.

History:

  • Number of significant events;
  • Number of significant cultural changes;
  • Age of the organization;
  • First-mover;
  • Activity level of the Founder(s);
  • Major changes in leadership; and
  • Number of rebrands of the organization.

Scoring

The scoring for the components will be based on a 10-point scale for a grand total of 90 points.

Each category is scored from 1–9.

In scoring the categories, please assess the components in making your decision on a scale from 1–9, with 1 being “very negative,” 2–4 is “negative,” 5 being “neutral,” 6–8 is “positive,’ and 9 being “very positive.” With component scoring, use the average score (score total / number of subcomponents)

Sample scoring based on the following situation for PVVMO:

Principles and values, vision, mission, and objectives (PVVMO):

  • PVVMO is not formalized (negative)(score: 3);
  • PVVMO does exist (positive) (score: 6);
  • High rate of adherence among members and governing bodies to PVVMO (positive) (score: 8); and
  • PVVMO has only been formally changed once (very positive) (score: 9).

In this situation, a score of (26 / 4) = 6.5 would be granted for the PVVMO category.

Eventual Goals

After formalizing the DGov Score framework, we intend to turn our findings into a full-fledged paper that should be easily digestible so others can use the DGov Score Framework to evaluate the extent of DGov in and between organizations.

We expect the paper to go over our choices of categories and components, and a sample analysis of an organization.

The Solidarity Project

Home of The Solidarity Project, and Ledgerback’s…

Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative

Written by

Mission-driven Co-op fostering socioeconomic innovation through theoretical & empirical research for the promotion of a commons-oriented society and FOSS tech

The Solidarity Project

Home of The Solidarity Project, and Ledgerback’s Distributed Governance Wing

More From Medium

More on Governance from The Solidarity Project

More on Blockchain from The Solidarity Project

Also tagged Organization

Apr 5 · 10 min read

140

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade