GPEI History Project

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Upon request from the Polio Oversight Board in 2016 to document the history of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the partnership designated a cross-institutional team composed of members of the core partner agencies, and hired staff to execute the project. The project documents global polio eradication, the GPEI partnership, and lessons learned through oral histories, artifacts, and records.

Main Objectives

  • Identify and strengthen existing polio-specific collections held by the GPEI partner archives and other organizations with a significant role in polio eradication. These collections can include documents, artifacts, photos and moving images, oral histories, and more.
  • Supplement gaps in the partnership’s archival record by collecting and preserving additional GPEI artifacts and records.
  • Produce 40-100 oral histories targeting subjective first-person accounts of polio eradication and the global partnership.

The GPEI History Project will bring the story of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to a broader audience both now and after certification by collaborating with GPEI personnel and partner archives to maintain the history.