Uncontrolled structures of international nongovernmental organizations
INGOs do not conform to a limited range or organizational models. They are in fact characterized by a wide variety of forms. This reduces ability to understand them and consequently reduces their credibility. Furthermore the fact that the interests of INGOs do not always correspond to the priorities currently in fashion in the major intergovernmental agencies is considered to be an indication of their irrelevance.
It is important to seek innovation of organizational forms in order to develop more effectiveness. With regard to areas of interest, who is to say that a seemingly irrelevant INGO today should not be relevant tomorrow. (The best example is the existence of environmental INGOs several decades before the UN Stockholm conference on the human environment in 1972).
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.