Whenever effective development takes place, a major effort is spent creating a cultural framework which motivates citizens. This framework, based on geography, history, vision of the future and labour gives direction to all aspects of the community effort. The basis of the community's identity is out of date and the community senses that its historical role is completed, the sense of self-identity fades as do the languages, practices and customs which developed around the old identity. Individuals and organizations outside the community may reenforce the sense of lost identity by the way they relate to the community. The community's sense of what is significant responsibilities of citizens may also reenforce the identity of the community. Only when small rural communities recreate their cultural identity in terms relevant to the contemporary world will the residents have the motivation to necessary to sustain development efforts.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.