The kinds of facts or evidence required to establish proof of the existence of a problem tend to vary across disciplines and social sectors. Such proof will clearly be resisted by authorities who need to protect their vested interests by denying the phenomenon as long as possible. A principal means of doing so is to impose stringent standards of proof, possibly much higher than those otherwise practised within that jurisdiction.
There have been many delays in officially recognizing environmental problems because of inability to establish "a link" between supposed causes and effects. Examples have included: emissions and acid rain, smoking and lung cancer, traffic emissions and ill-health.
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.