Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is policy research that aims to inform priority setting and resource allocation. HTA is increasingly recognized as a useful policy tool in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where there is a substantial need for evidence to guide Universal Health Coverage policies, such as benefit coverage, quality improvement interventions and quality standards, all of which aim at improving the efficiency and equity of the healthcare system. The Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), UK, are national HTA organizations providing technical support to governments in LMICs to build up their priority setting capacity. This paper draws lessons from their capacity building programs in India, Colombia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Such experiences suggest that it is not only technical capacity, for example analytical techniques for conducting economic evaluation, but also management, coordination and communication capacity that support the generation and use of HTA evidence in the respective settings. The learned lessons may help guide the development of HTA capacity in other LMICs.
Keywords: capacity building; health policy; health technology assessment; low- and middle-income countries; priority setting.