CDRA Social Change
Theorising the Practice of Community Development - A seminar and book launch by Peter Westoby
Friday 14th of November 2014 - 8.30 to 11.00am.
At the CDRA Centre,Woodstock, Cape Town
Bring R30 for Breakfast contribution
Click here to Register
In 1994 Peter Westoby arrived in South Africa as a young 27 year old community worker. Captivated by those transition years to post-apartheid South Africa, he spent the past 20 years on a back and forth journey working on numerous development initiatives here. During the past four years Peter has also conducted intensive field-based research on the historical, material and discursive practices of community development (CD) within this context.
The seminar draws on the book providing brief glimpses into Peter's appreciative and critical inquiry into community development generally, but particularly within South Africa, examining traditions and frameworks informing CD theory and practice, along with NGO practices and state-employed worker dilemmas. Several questions are considered, such as:
Peter Westoby is a Senior Lecturer in Community Development at The University of Queensland, Australia; a Research Fellow at the University of Free State, South Africa; and a Director of Community Praxis – a non-profit cooperative based in Australia. Peter has over 25 years of experience in youth, community and organizational development work, based in South Africa, Australia, PNG, Vanuatu and the Philippines.
CDRA is delighted to host this event which forms part of a fruitful association with Peter spanning several years. We are anticipating lots of interest so you are advised to register early to secure your place.
Please note that this Social Change Seminar starts at 8.30am with a breakfast, for which we ask a donation of R30. The Seminar starts at 9.00 am sharp and ends at 11.00 am. For those interested, a few hard copies of the book (discounted to R600) will also be available at CDRA.
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The District 6 Community Development Initiative
This new programme seeks to mobilise the uniquely diverse and culturally rich working class community of the District 6 enclave, in the Cape Town inner-city below the highway, that escaped the Group Areas Act removals in the 1970s. Gentrification of the area is threatening a new kind of removal through economic means. Working with local government and business they will renew and revitalise their community life and explore and expand their livelihood and economic possibilities. The programme will develop a multi-stakeholder approach, held within a strong participatory action research process, to surface and strengthen the resourcefulness of the community and support the imagining and implementation of a different future.
Civil Society and the future work of social change
by James Taylor of the CDRA
Many civil society organisations in the funded business of social change have been overtaken by the very thing they have been pursuing. Changes in the context around social development organisations are demanding that they reflect deeply on what they do, how they do it, and on the very identity of what they should become if they are to remain relevant to the demands of the time.
The changing context in broad brush strokes
The history of funded (or aided) development is most often traced back just over 60 years to the ‘European Recovery Programme’ initiated by the United States in 1948 after World War II. The intention was to build relationships through helping to rebuild European economies after the end of the war in order to prevent the spread of Soviet communism. As the European countries started recovering they too incorporated development aid into their relationships with countries considered to be less developed. Development aid played a significant role in shaping political and economic relationships throughout the cold war period. Around two decades ago, a series of events began to dramatically change the world order. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 coincided with the return to democracy in Chile after Pinochet’s dictatorship. The demise of the Soviet Union led to democratic movements and regimes in central Asia, Eastern and Central Europe. Around the world, epochal changes were taking place; the end of apartheid in South Africa and its new democratic president Nelson Mandela in 1994; the democratic regime in Cambodia in 1993; economic liberalisation in India in 1991; and the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in China in 1989. Three trends seemed to coalesce simultaneously around the world nearly two decades ago – the rise of democracy, the globalisation of economy and the voice of civil society. There was a resurgence of the concept and meaning of civil society in this period. In its new incarnation, civil society began to be heard, seen, talked and written about around the world.
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The Annual Report, for 2013/2014, gives an account of our strategic alliances, donor partners and programme collaborators, of the actions we implemented,
achievements, lessons learned and challenges we continue to face.
Striving for wholeness – an account of the
development of a sovereign approach to evaluation
by Sue Soal, March 2012
This case study offers an approach to evaluation that serves to support and strengthen social change organisations and initiatives. It is also a case study and account of the development of a practice, and a practitioner, showing the path this approach took in its development through experience. And then that path is illustrated by several smaller case-stories that give insight into particular emphases and practices supported by the approach. In so doing it attempts to offer both theoretical and practical insight into what practicing evaluation out of a ‘sovereign’ approach might involve.
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This 5-day course is for anyone who works in the development sector with an interest in improving their writing. This course will boost your skills to produce compelling and original pieces of writing that engage your reader. Writing is an undervalued yet increasingly important skill for development practitioners. Proposals, progress reports, articles, case studies, fundraising material, websites, blogs, press statements… The list is endless. Many of us feel overwhelmed by all the writing we are expected to do and struggle to articulate our thoughts and put our experiences onto paper. The result is that a lot of what is happening ‘on the ground’ remains unseen and unknown to the general public and potential donors. This is a missed chance!
Six public courses are planned for 2014:
Two public courses are planned for 2015:
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