The proposal reallocation process was introduced to try and ensure that proposals are allocated to the right categories. The execution of this process has revealed a number of issues unless future changes are made.
In fund 11 the approach to funding categorisation will change to adopt pre-defined categories instead of proposer defined categories that change every funding round. This change should help with reducing the confusion for proposers to identify and use the right category when submitting their proposal. This will help to reduce situations where there are many overlapping categories and due to that it should make it easier to submit proposals into the right category.
The full extent of the problem of proposals being in the wrong category is also not well evidenced and understood. A natural incentive exists to submit proposals in the right category so that the proposal has the highest chance possible to receive funding. Removing the reallocation process to gather more data and analyse the problem will help with being able to identify and adopt a more simple and scalable solution.
- Incorrect outcomes - The reallocation process is currently operated by the challenge teams involved in a category or the IOG legal team in situations where no challenge team exists. If the outcomes of this reallocation process lead to incorrect proposal reallocations then the main benefit of the process is compromised. Currently there is little evidence to suggest that the process leads to accurate outcomes in achieving the intended purpose as it has no moderation of how the process gets executed. The Web 3 Association proposal & addressing the category brief analysis helps to provide evidence of how incorrect reallocation process outcomes do occur.
- Process introduces attack vectors - Giving any group of people power to move proposals introduces an attack vector where people could try to migrate proposals to other categories that would benefit themselves and improve the percentage chance they have for winning in a certain category. This opportunity can lead to inviting bribery and corruption without sufficient checks and balances being in place. Due to the need for checks and balances the process becomes more difficult to decentralize and scale. The right incentives are needed to pay for this work to be done to a high standard and for that work to then also be moderated. It is highly preferable to avoid processes like these that can centralise power to a handful of people wherever possible due to the costs and introduction of more attack vectors.
- Lack of checks & balances - The process being adopted gives a defined group of people control over whether proposals should or shouldn’t be migrated. The process does not invite feedback from the proposers for consideration before finalising this process, nor does it let the outcome of this process get challenged with any supporting justifications from the proposer. This centralises control to a small handful of people that do not get moderated and that have the full power and authority to reallocate proposals. Without the right moderation being in place the reallocation decisions can easily be incorrect through bias, malice or corruption.
- Lack of research and analysis that supports the process - There is currently no publicly shared research and analysis that provides justifications about why the proposal reallocation process has been adopted, how it is actually effective, what other approaches were considered and what learning outcomes can be achieved by experimenting with this process as it is currently formed. Currently it appears to have been adopted without sufficient considerations made towards how it could be approached and what problems the process actually solves. The research and analysis does not need to be academic in any capacity to identify obvious flaws and advantages for different process design approaches and whether they are necessary.
- Unproven assumption that this process is actually required - There is a lack of evidence to suggest that the problem of misallocated proposals actually is a problem for the funding process. Even if there is some evidence of a problem, does it justify the centralisation of control with a process that could be costly to scale? The lack of supporting evidence for the problem will be further challenged by a new funding categorisation approach that is soon to be adopted. These categories will provide clearer and more well defined scopes of where proposals should be instead of the current challenge setting process which invites many overlapping categorisations. The potential need for any proposal reallocation process could be further reduced due to these new categories if they are well defined and more easily understood.
- Voting process already provides natural defensive incentives - If even a small percentage of voters choose to note vote for a proposal due to having a stance that the proposal is incorrectly allocated a natural incentive is made for proposers to submit their proposals into the right category. Making it easier for voters to determine when a proposal might be out of scope could help to improve this voting response accuracy and increase the natural incentive for proposers to correctly allocate their proposal without the need for a process that introduces moderators.
Suggestion option #1 - Remove proposal reallocation process
The problems with the proposal reallocation process can be resolved by removing the process and allowing more time for the problem to be more well understood with more evidence, research and analysis. Removing the process for one or two funding rounds will provide the community more data to review the problem and potential solution options. Fund 11 is also a good time to remove this process to better understand if the problem is truly worthy of an added process due to the introduction of well defined categories that should make it even easier for proposers to understand and use them when submitting their proposals.
Suggestion option #2 - Have another suggestion
Comment with your other suggestion below.
Suggestion option #3 - Disagree, leave process as is
Leave the proposal reallocation process as it currently is. Provide any rationale in the comments below.
- #1 - Remove proposal reallocation process
- #2 - Have another suggestion
- #3 - Disagree, leave process as is
- https://www.notion.so/cardanopace/Proposal-reallocation-process-flaws-suggestions-ff5554774cf6407a802d4dde77fda67d - Analysis covering the flaws and some suggestions for the reallocation process