In recent years governance has come under strain in both industrialized and developing countries, albeit for different reasons. Whereas in the former countries the causes may be traced to the changing norms of political and economic life, in the latter the related problems have been intensified by the sharp contrast between the growth in social demands and the capacity of the institutional framework -- including the institutions of the state, the private sector and the civil society -- to satisfy them. Governance and appropriate systems of government have also emerged as an area of concern for international development organizations, in the wake of the realization that many projects supported with external financial and technical resources failed to yield the anticipated rates of return. One reason was that investments were made in highly distorted policy environments, which prevented benefits from materializing.
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.