AFFORD was formed in 1994 by diaspora Africans, to ‘expand and enhance the contribution that Africans in the diaspora make to Africa’s development’.
This was a response to the disjuncture between mainstream international development and diaspora action. In its early years, AFFORD had a dual strategy: firstly, engage mainstream policymakers and influence them to understand, accept, recognise and support the extensive development work of the African diaspora; secondly, enhance the development knowledge, skills and capacity of diaspora organisations and individuals. Although much progress has been made in the past twenty years, this strategy is still relevant to diaspora-development. Over time, AFFORD has gained extensive experience and credibility in policy advocacy as well as capacity building. The emergence of the Common Ground Initiative and the Africa-UK programme in 2011 is partly due to the advocacy successes of AFFORD. The charity has used its unique expertise to develop its advocacy training package and to produce this handbook.