This series consists primarily of copies of Chenery's memoranda to McNamara, many of which were returned to Chenery heavily annotated with McNamara's handwritten notes and/or a red stamp indicating the President has seen. Some Chenery memoranda to McNamara are marked returned by McNamara's Office on a specific date with no notes or stamp. Also included are McNamara's memoranda to Chenery, memoranda sent to McNamara by other Bank staff (e.g. Ernest Stern) and copied to Chenery, letters and memoranda McNamara sent to Bank staff and copied to Chenery, and copies of letters Chenery drafted for McNamara's signature. Also included are Chenery's agenda for meetings with McNamara, Chenery's memoranda to the files summarizing discussions with McNamara, Chenery's handwritten notes from his meetings with McNamara, and copies of Chenery's memoranda to his managers summarizing either his discussions with McNamara or meetings that he attended of the President's Council.
In May 1973, Chenery asked McNamara for time to finish his book, The Developing Economy. McNamara agreed that following Chenery's August vacation, he would be allowed to spend sixty percent of his time until December 31 on that book. To permit Chenery to do this, Ernest Stern took over most of the day-to-day direction of the Development Policy Staff, and many of the August to December 1973 memoranda in this series were sent to McNamara by Stern rather than Chenery.
The records cover a wide range of subjects including the work program, organization, budget,and staffing for the Economics Department and the Development Policy Staff; the recruitment and assignment of economists in the Bank Group; the preparation, format, review, and scheduling of country economic programs and sector program papers; ex-post project evaluation work in the Bank; topics for and draft content of the President's annual meeting speeches and the preparation of other speeches for the President; the 1972 Bank reorganization; Bank coordination with the Ford Foundation and the International Monetary Fund; the review of country program papers; the preparation of seminars led by external experts for high-level Bank management; the preparation and review of papers on development policy; the World Bank's research program and budget; drafting of policy papers prepared in response to specific requests from McNamara; comments on policy papers scheduled for discussion by the Executive Directors; policy planning and the role of the Policy Review Committee; economic projections generated by the Development Policy Staff; the coordination of statistical work in the Bank; background information on individuals (and their country's issues) who were scheduled to meet with McNamara; management of the World Development Report team and plans for WDR topics and content; the treatment of Taiwan in World Bank reports; the initiation of the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS); and the selection of Chenery's successor. Beginning in 1977, many memoranda concern the reports of the external Research Advisory Panels and the implementation of recommendations made by those panels.