Union of Intelligible Associations
Union of Intelligible Associations

Projects Overview (Explanations)

Entry Content and Organization

Global Strategies Project

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Ordering of entries

Entry numbers have been allocated randomly; they have no significance other than as a permanent point of reference to facilitate indexing, cross- referencing, and updating between editions. Entries in the book version are in numeric order.

Index access to entries

In the book, the location of an entry in this sub-section may be determined from the Index (Section SX) on the basis of keywords in the name of the entry or its alternate titles.

Structure of entries

Entries may be composed of the following descriptive elements:

Cross-referencing of entries

At the end of any entry, there may be cross-references to other entries. These indicate the number and name of the cross-referenced entry, whether within this section of the Encyclopedia or in other sections (eg World Problems).

There are 3 types of hierarchical cross-references between strategies:

An example of a hierarchy is: Clarifying complex hierarchies may usefully serve to point to absent strategies.  The number of levels it is worth including in the hierarchy is a matter of judgement.  Clearly the more there are, the greater the risk of "opening up" excessively detailed strategies for which no descriptive information is readily available.  Hierarchies are indicative but not definitive; relationships are subject to change in the light of further information.
There are 4 types of functional cross-references between strategies:
Most strategies constrain or facilitate some other strategies.  Such links may be difficult to identify, although they may be apparent in "Counter-claims".  As with hierarchical relationships, mentioned above, care must be taken in indicating such functional cross-relationships.
  It is possible to isolate vicious cycles of problems and corresponding  vicious cycles of strategies.  In the case of  problems, in the cycle each problem is aggravating the next -- with the last looping back to aggravate the first in the chain. The more obvious loops may be composed of only 3 or 4 problems. Far less obvious are those composed of 7 or more. An example is:

Such cycles are vicious because they are self-sustaining. Identifying them is also no easy matter and computers are being used for this purpose.  Serendipitous loops of strategies that facilitate one another are also possible. Clearly identification of serendipitous strategy loops are vital to sustainable development strategy -- in order to contain and break vicious problem loops.

Relationships between strategies, other than hierarchical ones, are included either where they were specifically mentioned in the available documents or where they could be reasonably inferred from such material. It is rare for documents to be systematic in their description of the relationships between strategies. Relationship networks have to be built up from several different sources. Often it is not clear whether the relationship applies for the whole of a strategy hierarchy or for only some component part. There is a continuing effort to refine such networks, but even when a relationship is contentious the practice is to retain the relationship provisionally rather than exclude it and lose a  potential link.  This said, it is generally easier to criticize errors of commission than to undertake the extra effort to remedy errors of omission.

There are 3 types of cross-reference to other databases: