Minimal participation in community decision-making Sporadic community lobbying Disconnected modes of citizen engagement
Small communities are increasingly faced with the task of shifting their operating base from that of the individual unit to one of the community as a whole. Wherever individual concerns are emphasized at the expense of community concerns, systems for coordination are impeded. Groups and individuals engage in their separate activities in isolation from one another. Residents experience frustration at the relative lack of community services and fragmented village communication.
While signs of unified community pride and enthusiasm are appearing in many rural communities, there are no systems to reinforce unity and enthusiasm. There are apparently no formal channels of communication that bridge the diverse religious, racial and economic groups of small communities. This results in: competition for community space rather than coordination; reluctance of neighbours to hire each other for fear of possible ruptured friendships over work disagreements; a sense among residents of being unconnected with the community, as personality differences override community issues.
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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