• Migration;
  • transnationalism;
  • civil society;
  • collective remittances

Diaspora organisations are increasingly being lauded as important actors in the development of their communities and countries of origin. Focusing on London-based Nigerian organisations and their interventions in Nigeria, this article assesses the particular claims that diaspora organisations reach, benefit and ‘empower’ women and ‘the poor’ at ‘home’. It argues that, while many London-based Nigerian organisations do connect with and support these groups, they often do so in ways that reinforce rather than transform established gender relations and socio-economic inequalities. If international agencies are to support the progressive potential of the organised diaspora, it will be necessary to acknowledge the alternative and socially mediated ways in which development might be imagined and enacted both in diaspora and at ‘home’.