Digital diasporas, diasporas organised on the Internet, offer potential to contribute relevance, representativeness and responsiveness in meeting development needs. Following a brief overview of thorny dilemmas faced by the changing international development industry, the article discusses diasporas and their current role in international development, and examines the potential mobilisation and communication benefits afforded by the Internet. Three organisations of the Afghan-American digital diaspora are described, representing a range of development activities and intentions. Two sets of propositions are presented: those for digital diasporas seeking to promote effective development contributions and those for actors in the traditional international development industry. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.