The Health and Human Rights Oral History Project (HHROHP) is a growing archive of video testimonies from diverse figures in the health and human rights movement. The Project fills a critical gap in the modern history of public health by providing an inside view of the decisions, discussions, and dynamics behind some of the most impactful health and rights interventions of the past several decades. A product of the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (USC IIGH), the inaugural archive of 30 oral histories is available for research and educational purposes both through the USC IIGH website and here in the permanent digital archives of the USC Digital Library.
This first phase of the HHROHP, launched in early 2022, comprises 30 long-form oral histories from former staff and grantees of the the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program (PHP), one of the many entities to apply an international human rights framework to policy and practice in public health, as well as other key pioneers in the field of health and human rights. From 1993-2021, the PHP catalyzed and funded some of the most transformative trends in the health and rights field, from the development of harm reduction programs in the former Soviet Union, to the globalization of palliative care, to the development of medical professionals among the Roma minority in Europe. The PHP’s work reflected an understanding of public health as a political process, not just a biomedical one, offering critical lessons for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health challenges.
Each interview was conducted by a USC student with the guidance of USC faculty and oral history experts. Our vision is to create a dynamic archive that continues to grow as other organizations, institutes, and individuals are inspired to add their own oral histories that deepen our collective understanding of global public health.
Phase I of the HHROHP is led by a partnership between three global leaders in health and human rights, philanthropy, and oral history. The partnership is led by the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (IIGH), which works across disciplines to address health-related disparities and inequalities by expanding the evidence base about what works to advance global health, training the next generation of global health leaders, and informing public policy to more effectively contribute to global health outcomes. IIGH is responsible for identifying interview participants, background research, carrying out interviews, producing interview videos and transcripts, and publicizing findings.
Financial support, written source material, and strategic input for the HHROHP is provided by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), which works globally to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Founded by George Soros, OSF gives thousands of grants each year to groups and individuals, through a unique network that is guided by local voices and global expertise.
Expertise in oral history methods is provided by Thaler Pekar & Partners (TP&P), an internationally recognized pioneer of organizational narrative, leadership storytelling, and persuasive communication that has worked across five continents to help individuals and organizations connect their story, impact, and vision.
Please follow this link to access a user guide which explains how to navigate through the collection within the USC Digital Library System.