For statistical data from different countries to be useful in international planning of economic and social development, this data must be collected, analyzed and presented in such a way as to permit inter-country comparisons. Despite considerable progress, it is still very difficult to prepare regional and world totals on the basis of information originating from official national sources. Each country may apply a slightly different method of data collection such that each individual statistical figure requires a special qualifying footnote in any international statistical compendium. Another source of incomparability is vast differences in meaning for terms, such as, unemployment, disease and crime.
Of paramount importance are national economic, social and health statistics, which despite their intense study at international levels cannot be subsumed into comprehensive regional or global aggregates to detect levels and trends. Employment, distribution of wealth, crime, human rights and educational statistics are among those presenting difficulties.
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.