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Publication Details

Various  (2003) Community Development Resource Association: Books & other publications. Community Development Resource Association : 0-0.



Positive Organisation: Living and working with the invisible impact of HIV/Aids a resource for NGOs
Heather de Wet, Catherine Everett, edited by Siobhain Pothier and Sue Soal. Published by CDRA, 144 pages
What will it take to build organisations that are robust enough to absorb the impacts of the HIV/Aids epidemic, while providing humane, stable workplaces? A practical resource for NGOs, this booklet contains 6 sections:

  • A conceptual overview of the epidemic

  • A research report into the experiences of South African NGOs affected by the epidemic

  • A guide to the South African legal and policy framework

  • Methodology for NGOs adapting to the HIV/Aids environment

  • A practical toolkit for responding to HIV/Aids

  • An annotated bibliography and references to key web-sites.

The sections can be read individually or in sequence, and contain valuable information and lessons for organisations affected by the impact of HIV/Aids – which increasingly means all organisations.
Cost: R100 plus R8 postage - US$14 plus US$4 postage

Organisations and Development - towards building a practice
James Taylor. Published by CDRA, 2003, 64 pages
A succinct description of a developmental practice and the nature of
organisation required to support it.
Cost: R50.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R58.00),
$10.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage (Total $14.00)

Organisation Development Consultant Formation in Africa - Reflections from Practice
by Sue Soal (CDRA), Rick James and Liz Goold (INTRAC) and William Ogara (CORAT, Published by CDRA, 56 pages)
Promoting an organisation development (OD)approach to development practice, this book is addressed primarily to those readers who work as donors and have an interest in finding creative ways of developing and supporting an organisation development consultancy resource in the countries and regions in which they work, and for those who work in NGO support organisations, particularly when a strategy of providing OD consultancy is pursued.
Cost: R50.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R58.00), $10.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage
(Total $14.00)

Development Practitioners and Social Process - Artists of the Invisible.
Allan Kaplan. Pluto Press, 2002
Allan Kaplan presents a radically new approach to the understanding of organisations and communities, and to the practice of social development. His approach eschews the conventional instrumental or technicist way in favour of a methodology which embraces the full complexity and ambiguity of social transformation
Cost: R130.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R138.00), $20.00 (US)
plus $4.00 postage (Total $24.00)

The Development Practitioner's Handbook
Allan Kaplan (Pluto Press) 1996
This book, drawn from intensive reflection on years of practice in the field of development, is about the essentials of development practice,
underpinned by a fresh perspective on the contested and contentious terrain which marks the passage of development as we move towards the 21st century.
Cost: R73.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R81.00), $18.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage (Total $22.00)

Action Learning for Development: use your experience to improve your effectiveness
James Taylor, Dirk Marais, Allan Kaplan (Juta and Co. Ltd.) 1997 This book is an introduction to Action Learning. It is a celebration of the validity of everyone's experience as a source of learning that can change the world. The authors invite you to join them on their journey of learning as they draw on many years of experience working in organisations in Southern Africa. They speak as fieldworkers to other fieldworkers they have come to know so well through their work in the field.
Cost: R55.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R63.00), $13.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage (Total $17.00)

Action-learning Series: Case studies and lessons from development practice
The Action-learning Series aims to capture the wealth of development knowledge and experience built up by development fieldworkers. The lessons and case studies, with facilitators notes, provide an invaluable resource for effective training and facilitate training and ongoing learning from experience.

Community Participation and Financial Sustainability
James Taylor, Dirk Marais, Stephen Heynes (Juta and Co.Ltd.) 1998
This easy to use manual focuses on two critical issues in development: financial self- sustainability and community participation. Drawn from reflections of development practitioners with years of experience in the field, this book brings a clear focus to these complex issues and provides valuable insights for anyone grappling with these challenges.
Cost: R76.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R84.00), $18.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage (Total $22.00) - Per book

Effective Fieldwork and Managing Conflict
James Taylor and Dirk Marais (Juta and Co. Ltd.) 1999
Two critical issues in any development project are effective fieldwork and managing conflict. Drawn from the reflections of development practitioners with years of experience in the field, this book brings a clear focus to these complex issues and provides valuable insights for anyone grappling with these challenges.
Cost: R76.00 plus R8.00 postage (Total R84.00), $18.00 (US) plus $4.00 postage (Total $22.00) - Per book

The Development of Capacity:
Allan Kaplan. NGLS Development Dossier (United Nations) 1999
An argument and perspective with respect to new ways of looking at development and capacity-building practice. Drawn from both our 1998 Annual report and a forthcoming book on Organisation Development.

Unfortunately this is no longer available in print but it available online

Writings from our Annual Reports

Seeking the eye of the needle

Bringing to life the intention and impact of our workFrom the CDRA Annual Report 2000/2001 as a Word document as a .pdf file (the full report in colour with photos)

a sabbatical journey
Being a brief account of a provincial's six-month sojourn in the heart of the Empire
By Allan Kaplan
From the CDRA Annual Report 2000/2001

NGOs on the line
An essay about purpose, rigour, rhetoric and commodification
By Sue Soal
From the CDRA Annual Report 2000/2001

Measuring Development – Holding Infinity
From the CDRA Annual Report 2001/2002

Talking about stories – a conversation with a development practitioner
From the CDRA Annual Report 2000/2001

The High Road ­ Practice at the Centre
From the CDRA Annual Report 1999/2000

Development Practitioners - Artists of the Invisible
From the CDRA Annual Report 1998/99

Crossroads: A development reading
From the CDRA Annual Report 1997/98

Paradoxes of Power  
From the CDRA Annual Report 1996/97

Shadows: The development sector - face to face with

From the CDRA Annual Report 1995/96

Capacity Building: Myth or Reality?
From the CDRA Annual Report 1994/95

Del Informe Anual 1994/1995 de la Asociación de Recursos de Desarrollo Comunitario

In the Name of Development: Exploring Issues of
Consultancy and Fieldwork

From the CDRA Annual Report 1993/94  

Various Articles from CDRA

Measurement in Developmental Practice - from the mundane to the transformational
James Taylor and Sue Soal , 2003

Monitoring: a learning opportunity to foster accountability - A challenge for donors
by Khanyisa Balfour of the Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT), 2003
A guest writing by a staff member of a local South African donor which poses some
interesting and provocative challenges to donor practice.

Globalisation briefing paper
by Heather de Wet, 2002 A succinct 5-page description of the ins and outs of globalisation
with some implications for development practitioners. Word version

How do we know what difference we are making? Reflections on measuring development in South Africa.
By Sue Soal, 2001

Unlearning-facing up to the real challenge of learning
By Doug Reeler, 2001

So now they are going to measure empowerment!
By James Taylor, 2000

Exploring Organisational Culture
By Sue Soal, 2000

The Developing Of Capacity
by Allan Kaplan, 1999
originally published as a Development Dossier by the
United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service.

Transformation and Development: A South African perspective
By James Taylor, 1998

NGOs as Learning Organisations
By James Taylor, 1998

Capacity Building - Shifting The Paradigms Of Practice
By Allan Kaplan, 1997

Donors - the challenge to add value
By James Taylor, 1996

Leadership and Management
By Allan Kaplan, 1994

NGOs,Civil Society and Capacity-Building: Towards the Development of Strategy
By Allan Kaplan, 1994

Evaluation for Development
By Allan Kaplan, 1989

Nuggets-Unpolished Writings from Practice

October 2003 Nugget
Listening at Three Levels
Helps and hindrances to effective listening (including a group exercise)
as a Word document

March 2003 Nugget
If you meet the White Rabbit on the road, steal his watch!

by Doug Reeler of CDRA
Word version

October 2002 Nugget:
The Poverty of Partnerships

by James Taylor of CDRA May 2002

Freedom and Constraint Introducing the concept of archetype
by Allan Kaplan of CDRA

January 2002
Questionable experiences in Cambodia
by Enda Moclair

Working with questions

by Paulien Fopma

October 2001
Making the learning organisation literal – CDRA’s homeweek

by Sue Soal, CDRA

July 2001
Mindfulness and Sacred Space in our lives
by Dirk Marais of Vision Quest Africa

April 2001
Establishing Developmental Relationships
by James Taylor of CDRA

January 2001
Is Participation One of Those Concepts Used for Manipulative Purposes?
by Nomvula Dlamini of CDRA

October 2000
A Good Death - In Search of Developmental Endings
by Doug Reeler of CDRA

About Nuggets

In CDRA, through our work and reflections, we generate many ideas, only a few of which find their way into our publications.This is true of so many development practitioners out there. So we have decided to experiment and challenge ourselves and yourselves to join us in publishing a Nugget every two months. The essential features of a Nugget are:

  • It is a brief piece of writing, or a story, an original poem or a question - unpolished,
    on any topic from our or your development practice, that strikes us as worth putting out
    onto our website, to stimulate thinking and to encourage discussion.

  • Anyone who works in social development is invited to contribute a nugget.

  • You are also invited to read the Nugget presented on this page each month and to email
    us with a response, a brief comment, a question... which we will publish below the Nugget
    as they come in to us, with your name and email address.

  • In addition you are invited to subscribe to the Nuggets. By doing this we will email the
    new Nugget each month, saving you from having to download it yourself.

  • In addition we undertake, with the emailed Nugget, to let you know of anything new that
    has been published on our website, as well as to keep you informed of any new
    developments, courses etc.. We promise not to overload you!

To subscribe to the Nuggets, simply send an email to
with Subscribe to Nuggets in the subject line. If you wish to unsubscribe do
the same with Unsubscribe to Nuggets instead. Use the same address, to send us a Nugget or a response to

On The Web 

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