In 1987, women slumdwellers in the Mumbai organization Mahila Milan began to design houses in which they would like to live, and which combined financial viability and ability for self-construction. An exhibition of four optional designs was made as life-sized wooden structures covered with cloth. This practice has spread throughout the city. The alliance of which Mahila Milan and the National Slumdwellers Federation are a part uses housing exhibitions to: (1) educate and mobilize communities concerning affordable housing; (2) establsih a dialogue and negotiate with the State and its various institutions on issues of housing for the urban poor; and (3) build capacity to manage, host and participate in such processes.
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.