Remote local authorities Non-resident local authorities
Despite a growing demand for effective administrative systems to serve local communities, residents in urban areas feel these structures to be complex and remote. This impression is enhanced by the difficult, often lengthy procedures of requests, applications, appointments, waiting lists, negotiations, telephone calls, visits and letters. Although services are known to be available, applicants are constantly met with technical procedures that delay service delivery. Proliferation of legal data still leaves many uninformed about legal rights and special benefits. Despite efforts by administrators to find the best means for delivering services, the weight of official machinery and the number of requests make their task increasingly difficult. In effect, both the administrators and those whom they are intended to serve are clear that existing structures are no longer effective in providing the service for which they were created; but there is an underlying powerlessness in the face of the present vast socio-economic machinery.
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.
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