[Discussion] Service Provider Framework


We have seen two service [1 , 2] providers make pitches to start a grants program and there has been a lot of discussion on the details. Perhaps it’s easier for us as a DAO to agree on a neutral ’ Service Provider Framework ’ so that we can be more efficient with this process and allow the DAO to measure the performance of providers on neutral terms


While the conversation started out with grants, there could be a diverse array of services the DAO could need and this framework should be domain agnostic and comprehensive. These are initial prompts to kick off the discussion on what information the DAO should request from each proposal:

  1. Service Provider Onboarding:

    • Application Process: Define a clear process for service providers to apply, including submission requirements such as a portfolio, CV, or proposal.
    • Evaluation Criteria: Establish criteria to evaluate service provider applications, such as relevant experience, skills, past work, and alignment with the DAO’s values and goals.
    • Selection Process: Outline the steps involved in selecting service providers, which may include voting, review by a committee, or a combination of both.
  2. Service Provider Offboarding:

    • Termination: Define conditions under which the contract with a service provider can be terminated, such as non-performance, breach of terms, or completion of the agreed-upon work.
    • Transition Plan: Ensure a smooth transition by outlining procedures for transferring knowledge, assets, and ongoing responsibilities to another service provider or DAO members.
    • Feedback and Evaluation: Encourage feedback from both the DAO and the service provider on their experiences working together, to identify areas of improvement and address any concerns.
  3. Duration and Scope:

    • Duration: Clearly specify the duration of the service provider’s engagement, whether it’s a fixed-term contract, an ongoing arrangement, or a project-based engagement.
    • Scope of Work: Define the specific tasks, responsibilities, and objectives expected from the service provider, including any milestones or deliverables.
  4. Past Work and Experience:

    • Portfolio or References: Request service providers to submit their portfolio, past work samples, or references to evaluate their capabilities and track record.
    • Experience Requirements: Define the minimum level of experience or qualifications necessary for service providers to be considered for engagement with the DAO.
  5. Cost Breakdown and Payment:

    • Cost Structure: Clearly define how the service provider’s fees or costs will be determined. This can include hourly rates, fixed fees, or a detailed breakdown of costs for each deliverable or phase.
    • Payment Schedule: Establish a payment schedule, including milestones or specific dates for payment. Define the preferred payment method and any applicable terms, such as invoicing or automatic payments.
  6. Performance and Quality Assurance:

    • Performance Metrics: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics to measure the service provider’s performance and ensure they meet the DAO’s expectations.
    • Quality Assurance: Specify any quality control processes or standards that service providers must adhere to, ensuring the delivery of high-quality work.
  7. Intellectual Property:

    • Intellectual Property: Clarify ownership rights of any intellectual property created during the engagement.
  8. Dispute Resolution:

    • Mediation or Arbitration: Establish a procedure for resolving disputes between the DAO and service providers, such as mediation or arbitration, to avoid legal conflicts.
  9. Continuous Evaluation and Improvement:

    • Regular Review: Conduct periodic evaluations of service providers to assess their performance, alignment with the DAO’s goals, and ongoing value.
    • Iterative Enhancements: Continuously improve the service provider framework based on feedback, lessons learned, and changing needs

These are just some points chatGPT helped me come up with, but this is just suggestions. What do you all think?


I think this is moving in the right direction, however, I’m not sure how it is any different that what AIP - 3 [Non-Constitutional] Fund the Arbitrum Grants Framework Proposal Milestone 1 - #9 by Frisson is posting. Most of that proposal is to design the best way to answer all of the questions you put above.

It seems that you’re considering service providers to be receiving funds that are not “grants”. Is this correct?

Perhaps the glossary is undefined so we talk past each other in some ways.

I’d consider “Program Managers” to be “Service providers” which are given responsibility for directing funds to provide an outcome for the community.

The issue I’ve seen across DAOs is that the DAO delegates don’t have time to do the above work. That brings us to the chicken and egg problem which the AIP-3 is attempting to solve.


You bring good points @DisruptionJoe

a. On the point of delegates doing governance work, I’d like to see if @Frisson and the Tally team have any stats they want to share about governance participation in DAOs across time. In my experience, DAOs which do not compensate delegates for actively participating in governance often are not well governed. Therefore I’d encourage the community think about governance incentives from the getgo. I wonder if the foundation has any plans here? CC:@stonecoldpat

b. On the point about service provider fees vs grants, they could be the same thing, and ideally the pluralistic grants framework would be able to identify the best providers to give repeated grants to, but till then this remains a test awaiting experimental results.

Finally, we have seen more proposals such as

requesting funds over a fixed time period. All these proposals want to provide different services to the DAO and more will follow asking for funds with different deliverables. It’s in the interest of the DAO to agree on a framework in order to evaluate each provider in a domain agnostic manner.

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