Developing non-economic indicators of human development
Health, individual well-being, environmental quality, personal and collective security all make contributions to welfare which are not captured by conventional economic statistics. Uneven income distribution and the value of domestic work are not accounted for. Increasing levels of income are consumed only to mitigate rising environmental and social costs, providing no net gain for welfare. Degraded "public goods", such as healthy air, water, and natural surroundings, even the richest cannot buy. These arguments have led to attempts to develop new indicator which better reflect the complexities of measuring sustainable welfare than is possible using measures of crude economic output.
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.