Health Technology Assessment capacity development in low- and middle-income countries: Experiences from the international units of HITAP and NICE

F1000Res. 2017 Dec 11;6:2119. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.13180.1. eCollection 2017.


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.

Grant support

This study was funded by the Thai Health-Global Link Initiative Project (TGLIP), the international Decision Support Initiative (iDSI, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development, UK). The Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) is funded by the Thailand Research Fund under the Senior Research Scholar Program on Health Technology Assessment (RTA5580010), the National Health Security Office, the Health Systems Research Institute and the Bureau of Health Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health.