Sri Lanka is an island situated close to the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent with a land area of about 65 000 km2. The population in 2001 was 18.5 million. It has an interesting genetic diversity, its five main populations revealing both European and Asian origins. Although Sri Lanka is a developing country, it has strengths that other developing countries do not have, mainly in health and education. However, Sri Lanka lacks a research culture and has inadequacies in its research capabilities; hence, capacity building is essential. Based on our research findings, we plan to achieve this by working with professionals, statutory services, policy-makers and the public. Our model is international collaboration based on our own research agenda. Such partnerships can produce high-quality research, with greater influence on national policy and practice (Costello & Zumla, 2000).