The Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP), a joint project of the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health, the WHO, and The World Bank, was launched in 2001 to identify policy changes and intervention strategies for the health problems of low-income and middle-income countries. Nearly 500 experts worldwide compiled and reviewed the scientific research on a broad range of diseases and conditions, the results of which are published this week. A major product of DCPP, Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, 2nd edition (DCP2), focuses on the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of health-improving strategies (or interventions) for the conditions responsible for the greatest burden of disease. DCP2 also examines crosscutting issues crucial to the delivery of quality health services, including the organisation, financial support, and capacity of health systems. Here, we summarise the key messages of the project.