OAD, the Office of Astronomy for Development, one of the most significant innovations within the IAU, was created at the XXVII General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 2009 and opened in 2011. The new office brought together and strengthened several activities of the IAU aimed at helping astronomers in developing or isolated countries to keep in touch with their colleagues elsewhere and up-to-date with the developments in our science. Those activities were mediated through the old commission structure by Commission 38 (Exchange of Astronomers) and Commission 46 (Astronomy Education and Development) which oversaw the International Schools of Young Astronomers (ISYA), the Visiting Lecturer Programme (VLP) and Teaching for Astronomy Development (TAD). In addition, Jorge Sahade, during his term as IAU President (1985–1988), formed the Working Group for the Promotion and Development of Astronomy, as a sub-committee of the Executive Committee, and asked the present writer, then a Vice-President, to act as chair. That Working Group (later renamed the Working Group for the Worldwide Development of Astronomy, WGWWDA) operated within the context of the already existing services of the IAU and in cooperation with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). In this paper, the writer gives an account of the activities of the WGWWDA both during and between General Assemblies, until the year 2000, shortly after which he relinquished responsibility for them.