The purpose of this paper is to propose a process to help to develop a new model for partnerships in tuberculosis (TB) control, based on experiences to date. We start by identifying the essential service components needed in order to deliver quality care. Secondly, we identify the main partners in a collaboration or partnership. We describe a generic model linking the partners and the components. This model is then used to describe and analyse successful partnerships currently in existence, identifying those features that produced a successful outcome regarding increased access, coverage and quality for TB control. Finally, we illustrate how the process and generic model has been used to develop a locally appropriate model for partnerships in TB control, taking Bangladesh as our example. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.