Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the Government initiative for developing the in-country capacity of the National Public Health Management Centre (NPMC) in Tabriz. The UNDP definition of capacity has been used as a framework for assessment with the primary focus of the current assessment being on the training component.
Design/methodology/approach: The pape shows that Iran, which is a lower-middle income country, has a network of training institutions for both pre-service and continuing education of its human resources in health. This collaborative initiative between NPMC, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development (NCIHD) and World Health Organization (WHO), attempted to create conditions for designing, organising and conducting a training programme in health planning and management for mid-level health managers in Iran.
Findings: The paper finds that the experience of capacity development through training, described here, is in contrast with usual practice, where candidates are sent abroad for training. Overall, the process for developing in-country capacity of a local institute by a foreign institute was well thought out. However, there are some lessons to be learned from the process.
Originality/value: The paper shows that capacity has been built in NPMC for organising in-country short course on health planning and management for health sector reform. The paper concludes by arguing that, in order to sustain these training programmes over a long period of time, in addition to including training in its mandate, NPMC should: consider networking with allied institutions in the country and beyond for sharing knowledge; and make twinning arrangements with a foreign institute for continuously upgrading the knowledge and skills of its trainers.