This report identifies good practices and potential concrete steps forward to help scientists and administrators involved in collaborative research programmes between developing and developed countries. It describes issues that must be considered when designing, implementing and managing such projects. The report distils information and analyses that emerged from the Global Science Forum project, which addresses issues such as achieving a balance between research goals and strategic development priorities, developing national capacity in science and technology, and using appropriate indicators to evaluate the outcomes of collaborative programmes. The report concludes by emphasising that international collaboration is essential to deal with global issues such as climate change because developing countries are often those most severely affected by global threats.