Research capacity is weakest in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) where operational research is highly relevant and needed. Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) courses have been developed to train participants to conduct and publish operational research and influence policy and practice. Twenty courses were completed in Asia, Africa, Europe and the South Pacific between 2009 and 2014 with an objective to assess where the research was conducted, who was trained, who became facilitators in subsequent courses and course outcomes. It was concluded that the SORT IT model has been effective in training personnel to produce relevant operational research in LMICs. It merits continued commitment and support for further scale-up and development.