The International Astronomical Union has a strong commitment to the development of astronomical education and research throughout the world, especially in those countries developing economically. This commitment is in part through the work of IAU Commission 46 for astronomy education and development. Within that commission, the Program Group for the World-wide Development of Astronomy (PGWWDA) coordinates many of these activities, promoting the development of astronomy in developing countries. Six years ago, at the time of the IAU XXIV General Assembly in Manchester, Alan Batten, who was then chair of the PGWWDA, organized a special session on ‘Astronomy for developing countries’ (A. Batten. ed., 2001, Astronomy for Developing Countries, Proc. IAU XXIV GA Special Session (San Francisco: ASP). The success of that meeting
has led Commission 46 to propose another Special Session, this time at the IAU XXVI General Assembly, in Prague, 2006. These pages present highlights from that two-day
session, known as Special Session 5 on Astronomy for the Developing World.