Dysfunctional social networks Insufficient community networks
Inner city areas do not necessarily lack community organizations - they often have the full complement of social service agencies, school organizations and functioning block clubs - and local citizens may be clearly concerned about their community; but informal networks to inform citizens, and through which they can participate in the building of consensus, do not exist. Consequently, well-intentioned and well-designed programmes are met with scepticism or suspicion. The local resident does not perceive any of them as effective channels for creative dialogue. In fact, the agencies are perceived as a 'they' who make decisions and carry out policies that affect 'us' without our advice or consent. Unfounded rumours about plans of outsiders for the community are rampant, but organized attempts to hold community meetings and explore the truth are ill-attended. Local associations are constantly frustrated in their efforts to increase membership and attendance.
Until communities are linked through local communication networks, efforts to build an effective human community will be thwarted by the lack of a firm corporate consensus.
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.