There are inherent challenges in working with datasets on a global scale. Given that in general only data with the same definition, standards and date of measurement can be safely aggregated to a regional or global level, even small discrepancies or gaps can make datasets incomplete or otherwise deficient. On the other hand, even with good quality data, aggregation and averaging may mask important spatial or temporal diversity. In large-scale aggregations, issues unique to smaller regions disappear. Therefore the scale of aggregation and reporting of averages should be carefully matched with the scale of environmental issues or policies and the purpose of assessment.
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.