The shift to technology has left many Third World rural communities behind. Villagers are still using the practical skills and information that were appropriate to another age. They may have been taught some skills - modern machines, chemical fertilisers, power saws and birth control pills are all commonly used. But the information on their use is often incomplete, and villagers lack the understanding necessary for their full application. Such partial knowledge results in villagers being unable to realize the new economic possibilities open to them, and agricultural production and small businesses are impeded by gaps in technical information. Programmes for nutrition, sanitation and preventive medicines need explanation, information and instruction on how applications for assistance must be submitted. For example, despite the general availability of building materials, old methods of extraction, preparation and shipping represent an overwhelming task; other methods may be available through government programmes, but residents are unaware of how to profit from such programmes. In general, the acquisition of functional information that could transform everyday life has resulted in only confusion.
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.