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April 27, 2023

Delegation done right: Steward Health Cards

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As individuals responsible for managing the operations and resources of a DAO, stewards act as key decision-makers and help to ensure that the organization is functioning effectively and in alignment with its mission and values.

Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. Tamara Helenius, DAO Check - Getting Stewardship Right

When GTC launched in May 2021, governance over the Gitcoin platform was handed over to the community via a group of individuals known as Stewards. The stewards of Gitcoin DAO play a vital role in driving the Gitcoin ecosystem forward through their work in governance and in workstreams. Stewards are trusted community leaders with delegated voting power to make decisions on behalf of the community.

The challenge

Gitcoin has hundreds of Stewards involved in various ways in the governance of DAO. It was very difficult for the DAO and token holders to gauge the level of engagement of the Stewards. Without clear metrics, it is difficult to get visibility and hold the Stewards accountable. Token holders like to delegate their tokens to the most active Stewards and without clear visibility, they could not confidently choose a delegate for their tokens. Stewards themselves would like to understand how they are performing and improve their involvement in the DAO.

The solution

Gitcoin collaborated with Karma to build Stewards Health Cards - a scoring feature that can be used by the DAO to quantify the activity of the contributors. Snapshot voting and Forum activity are two metrics used at Gitcoin to determine the extent of ‌Steward activity. In addition, the functionality differentiates between different types of forum posts. Proposal posts are weighted heavily than regular posts and comments and discussions on proposals are weighted differently from other comments. 

Gitcoin came up with the algorithm to calculate Health Score based on these metrics and weights. Karma runs this custom algorithm on a daily basis and updates the Health score of all the Stewards. All the stats along with the Health Score are displayed in the custom dashboard.

The vision of the Steward Health Cards has been to provide the most valuable metrics for each Steward with the goal of improving the transparency and accountability of their work. The cards also function as a tool to assist delegators in making informed decisions and to allow Stewards to compare their involvement relative to their peers. Steward Health Cards have been completely built in public and can be forked without permission by any community with a similar governance structure.

Delegation portal

The delegation portal helps token holders choose stewards and boosts transparency by displaying steward contributions to indicate their involvement in the DAO. GTC holders, stewards, and Gitcoin community members have the ability to search, filter and sort among the 150+ delegates based on attributes such as active / inactive status, Snapshot votes, forum activity, voting weight, etc.

Users can learn more about the stewards they are interested in by drilling into their voting history with insights on voting breakdown, delegated votes over time, and a contrarian index to quantify votes cast against the majority.

Self-service functionality for stewards

In addition, the portal also allows new stewards the ability to create their profile, share their vision, link social handles and start accepting delegations. Moreover, if a steward doesn't want to be involved anymore, they can login and withdraw their nomination so new token holders won't be able to delegate tokens to them. 

Conclusion

In recent years, DAOs have become increasingly popular for their decentralized and transparent nature. However, one of the challenges of decentralized governance is ensuring the active participation and accountability of stewards who hold decision-making power within the DAO. The Steward Health Cards and the delegation portal provide several key benefits to the Gitcoin community, including increased and more informed delegation activity, increased accountability for stewards, and a reduced number of ghost stewards who hold voting power but don't actively participate in the decision-making process. We expect to iterate on these tools and the functionality as we continue to learn and adapt to the challenges in creating an open, inclusive, and decentralized ecosystem.

Visit https://delegate.gitcoin.co/ to view steward contributions, check on the status of your delegate or discover stewards you want to delegate to.

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