METHODS: A case study was undertaken in a developing country (Malaysia) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the situation leading to the formation of a multidisciplinary research partnership in oral cancer. Following the formalization of the partnership, further evaluation was undertaken to identify measures that can assist in sustaining the partnership.
RESULTS: The group identifies its strength as the existence of academia, research-intensive NGOs and good networking of clinicians via the existence of the government's network of healthcare provider system who are the policy makers. The major weaknesses identified are the competing interest between academia and NGOs to justify their existence due to the lack of funding sources and well trained human resources.
CONCLUSIONS: With the growing partnership, the collaborative group recognizes the need to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines for the sharing and usage of resources in order to safeguard the interest of the original partners while also attending to the needs of the new partners.