Abstract The concept of counterpart is used by international health agencies to achieve the transfer of skills necessary for the ongoing viability of international nursing programs. The goal of the counterpart relationship is for the host group counterpart to assume responsiblity for the project. The counterpart relationship is seen as a spectrum across which knowledge is transferred from counterpart to counterpart. Where each counterpart relationship falls on the spectrum depends on the degree of knowledge each brings to the relationship and changes across the life of the project. The tasks each counterpart must accomplish to ensure a successful relationship are illustrated by a faculty preparation program developed in the People's Republic of China.