The project conducted seventy-nine oral history
interviews with key participants in the evolution of UN ideas.
Oral histories are essential, both to inform the various publications
of the project and to provide a key historical resource for future
generations of scholars. Oral history generally allows for nuance
and passion, and it gives future researchers the opportunity to
hear the dynamic quality of personal accounts. In addition, these
interviews give project researchers and authors an opportunity
to identify ideas that never made it beyond closed room discussions
and to explore the debates about and circumstances of their demise.
The project uses the oral history method both to better understand
the UN's contribution to global economic and social policy and
to development discourse and practice. The archive of seventy-nine
personal testimonies contains the recorded life narratives of
individuals who served the world organization in key positions
as staff members, consultants, researchers, diplomats, and chairs