Incomplete understanding of new societal service systems
Unawareness of social services Ignorance of available social services Unrecognized availability of services Unknown service benefits
Daily living requires an ever increasing amount of technologically-oriented information to carry out routine activities effectively. This has left behind rural communities which still rely on old-style information suited to another time. Skills may have been acquired on the surface but without the depth of understanding necessary for their complete application.
Communities which are unable to keep pace with new delivery systems are more and more dependent on outside resources and government programmes, while being unclear as to what it actually means to be part of such programmes. The result is that systems of available credit are mistrusted and remain unused; the prevalence of local diseases may be acknowledged, but health services are not utilized and prevention materials rarely encountered; local advertising may be known as a concept but the results are limited in effect; systems of pest eradication and the means to acquire them remain unclear; and government procedures are seen as too complex to be within the reach of ordinary people. The result of acquiring basic information that should transform everyday life tends in fact to be confusion and a basic misunderstanding of new scientific practices.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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.