Undertaking participatory research for development
Promoting people-centred development research
People-centred research strategies can make important contributions to development, for example improving health in the context of environmental risk. Some key principles in the development and planning of such a research strategy are (1) Active participation of the beneficiaries in the identification, planning, execution, and monitoring of research and action strategies. (2) Identifying priority needs for research and assessing the capacity of the beneficiaries to participate. (3) Transferring appropriate technology and strengthening local technical capabilities. (4) Sustainability, replicability (via networking), and empowerment of beneficiaries to address their own problems. Such a research strategy allows people to take control of their own environmental circumstances and promotes self-reliant development.
To succeed in the field of development, research must go beyond the familiar format of hypothesis formulation and testing. Research must include action. The setting of the research agenda should go beyond the rather naive and simplistic format of "academics being supported by donors to produce research for use by policy-makers".
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.