Diabetes disproportionately affects disadvantaged populations. Eighty percent of deaths directly caused by diabetes occurred in low- and middle-income countries. In high-income countries, there are marked disparities in diabetes control among racial/ethnic minorities and those with low socio-economic status. Innovative, effective and cost-effective strategies are needed to improve diabetes outcomes in these populations. Technological advances, peer educators and community health workers have expanded methodologies to reach, educate and monitor individuals with diabetes. In the present manuscript we review the outcomes of these strategies, and describe the barriers to and facilitators of these approaches for improving diabetes outcomes.