This paper presents an overview of the World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and a discussion of the methodological research on which the development of the instrument was based. The WMH-CIDI includes a screening module and 40 sections that focus on diagnoses (22 sections), functioning (four sections), treatment (two sections), risk factors (four sections), socio-demographic correlates (seven sections), and methodological factors (two sections). Innovations compared to earlier versions of the CIDI include expansion of the diagnostic sections, a focus on 12-month as well as lifetime disorders in the same interview, detailed assessment of clinical severity, and inclusion of information on treatment, risk factors, and consequences. A computer-assisted version of the interview is available along with a direct data entry software system that can be used to keypunch responses to the paper-and-pencil version of the interview. Computer programs that generate diagnoses are also available based on both ICD-10 and DSM-IV criteria. Elaborate CD-ROM-based training materials are available to teach interviewers how to administer the interview as well as to teach supervisors how to monitor the quality of data collection. Copyright © 2004 Whurr Publishers Ltd.