About Mashav

About Mashav

    Mashav has been in existence for a very long time. Her official overseas development cooperation was launched in 1958 and has gained widespread recognition for its work in countries throughout the developing world for almost four decades. Israel's - Centre for International Cooperation (MASHAV is the Hebrew acronym) assists countries striving to alleviate shared global problems - hunger, disease, and poverty - by means of technical training and technology transfer needed to achieve a decent quality of  life. What started as a modest program focused on grassroots – level human capacity building – at a time when Israel was still a developing country has blossomed into an extensive program of cooperation throughout the developing world. ​
    The history of scientific research and technology in Israel is an integral part of the story of the Jewish people's return to its homeland. Theodor Herzl envisaged Israel not only as the physical home of the Jewish people, but also as a major spiritual and scientific center.
    After achieving independence in 1948, scientific research and technological development were key factors in rebuilding the country to become a modern state. New and innovative technologies were developed to meet the challenges of a growing country with scarce natural resources, skills that Israel was eager to share with the newly independent countries of Africa and Asia.
    From the earliest years of statehood, Israel's leaders were moved by a compelling desire to share the knowledge gained from Israel's own development experience. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, believed that "...the principles of mutual assistance and equality should also constitute the basis for international relations between people... [And] must be based on the solidarity of all human beings, derived from fraternity and mutual assistance in every sphere of life - the economic, social and scientific... "
    In 1958, Golda Meir, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, first visited Africa. Deeply moved by the challenges the young nations of Africa faced after achieving independence, she returned convinced that Israel must play a significant role in assisting these nations in their struggle with problems of health, education, malnutrition, low status of women, and the struggle for resources. Golda Meir's personal commitment to international cooperation led to the creation of MASHAV, a special Division for International Cooperation within Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


    MASHAV's training programs do not attempt to impose any specific model of development, but rather encourage trainees to find their own solutions and adapt them to their respective cultural and social values, promote sustainable development, social equity, economic potential and natural resources, as well as to their regional priorities.
    As we have enter the 21st century, when world population is expected to reach 10 billion, the main challenge to modern technology will be to combat hunger, thirst, poverty, and major ecological problems.
    MASHAV's programs will continue to strive to reduce human suffering and intensify environmental protection, while remaining committed to the global efforts towards decent and sustainable living for all.

    Over 200,000 course participants from approximately 140 countries, in Israel and abroad, have been trained. Dozens of demonstration projects worldwide in areas of Israeli expertise has also been developed by MASHAV.
    • Mashav works on areas in which Israel has a comparative advantage and/or accumulated expertise with belief that our greatest contribution can be made in fields where Israel has expertise directly relevant to emerging nations. The list of such fields is extensive, including: water resource management and irrigation, desert agriculture and combat of desertification, early childhood employment programs amongst others.
    • Mashav is committed to cooperation throughout the developing world and does not limit her activities to a small number of target countries. Our focus is on areas of expertise rather than on geographical areas, extending our hand of partnership wherever Israel’s experience is relevant.

    • Mashav identifies relevant micro-project activities that can serve as a catalyst for wider-scale development, targeting the grassroots in many countries.
    • Our belief is that training of trainers and other capacity building activities is the best way to achieve maximum impact in development activity since education which leads to empowerment is the surest guarantee of sustainable growth.
    • Mashav seeks cooperative projects with other development organizations, offering partnership in areas in which Israel has comparative advantage, to all development agencies, governmental as well as non-governmental, international agencies and development banks. MASHAV’s experience with such joint projects, often on a cost-sharing basis, has been very positive; broadening the impact of MASHAV’s potential contribution and the efficacy of the projects undertaken.
    • Mashav believes that development cooperation can and should be used to forge bonds of peaceful cooperation with Israel’s neighbors regardless of the political climate.


    MASHAV began its cooperation program on a small scale, involving very few countries. In 1958, the overall number of trainees was 137, mostly from Asia (52%) and Africa (43%). In 1963, only five years later, the number of trainees participating in MASHAV training courses reached 1262, mainly in the fields of agriculture (27%), cooperation and labor studies (14%), and medicine and public health (6%). The majority of trainees came from Africa (54%), followed by Asia and the Mediterranean Basin (24%) and Latin America (13%). That same year, MASHAV experts were dispatched for the first time to host countries to conduct "on-the-spot" training courses; 21 courses were held in 10 countries with 393 participants.
    Though many countries had severed diplomatic relations with Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1200 trainees participated in MASHAV courses in Israel and another 1449 were trained in "on-the-spot" courses. In 1994 the number of trainees in Israel was 3214, while 4400 took part in "on-the-spot" courses overseas.
    In November 1994, MASHAV celebrated the arrival of its 50,000th trainee since its inception in 1958, and expects its 100,000th to be welcomed within the next ten years.
    MASHAV's activities comprise:
    1. Courses in Israel: These include international courses, where trainees from various countries study in classes conducted in a common language; and national courses, devoted to trainees from the same country.
    2. On-the-Spot Courses: Conducted at the request of the recipient country by MASHAV experts for local trainees. Training courses concentrate on traditional areas where Israel has acquired experience - agriculture and rural society, education, social development, public health, environmental and natural resource protection, and women in development.
    3. Short-Term Consultancies: A MASHAV expert is sent at the request of the host country to provide rapid, specific advisory services, assistance in program implementation, conduct a survey on a specific topic or back-up for MASHAV experts on long-term projects.
    4. Long-Term Consultancies: MASHAV experts are dispatched at the request of the host country to assist in the design, implementation, management or general assessment of pilot or development projects.
    Between 1958 and 1995, over 10,000 MASHAV experts were sent abroad, of which 392 were dispatched during the course of 1994.
    5. Joint Research Programs: Conducted under the auspices of MASHAV, in cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to support trilateral research programs designed to assist the developing world. 

    MASHAV's training programs cover a wide range of disciplines:
    Adult Education Agriculture Agricultural Research Community Development Cooperative Development Educational Development Environmental Management Integrated Rural Regional Development Labour and Cooperative Studies Nature Protection Public Health and Medical Programs Science and Technology Women in the Development Process Workshops, tailor-made to meet community needs
    Training courses in Israel are conducted in various MASHAV-affiliated institutions throughout the country. Participants are graduate students, professionals, instructors, field workers, technicians as well as senior government personnel. Classes are small, affording individual attention to each student. Courses are designed to present concepts and ideas. No attempt is made to impose a specific model or solution. At the end of each course, participants are required to present a project they have prepared. Follow-up studies indicate that about one-third of these project proposals are eventually carried out in the participant's home country.
    MASHAV's program is meant to reach a diverse population whose educational background and work experience cover a wide spectrum. This enables them to apply skills learned to the training of others. Teachers, farmers, engineers, community workers, regional planners, physicians and nutritionists are but a small sample of participants in these programs. While levels of formal and informal education and experience vary, MASHAV tries to custom-make its courses to address the concerns of each student.

    The largest scope of MASHAV's activity is in the field of agricultural development, focusing on adapting new technologies to eliminate the hunger and poverty affecting millions of people in developing countries. Israel lies at the junction of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. Its wide variety of climate zones and topographical areas concentrated in a relatively small geographical space create a scientific and human resources center suitable for research and applied science. Each MASHAV participant in Israel can readily study conditions appropriate to the agronomy of his or her country of origin.
    In most of the medical-oriented areas of study, emphasis is placed on ophthalmology, epidemiology and fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A new aspect of the MASHAV program in Israel is the training of nurses and auxiliary staff in operating theatres. The role and importance of community health in the public sphere are emphasized in all training courses.
    As part of its "on-the-spot" courses, MASHAV sends medical personnel to train local professionals and assist in the establishment; organization and training required for the implementation and maintenance of modern health services in rural and urban locations. Problems arising from the inadequacy of healthcare in developing countries continue to be of great global concern. MASHAV courses in this field are conducted both in Israel and in "on-the-spot" courses.

    MASHAV's outreach to communities and nations lasts well beyond formal training. Through its network of Shalom Clubs, MASHAV provides a forum for trainees to keep in touch and build firm ties of friendship and cooperation. Likewise, participants maintain long-term professional contacts with the MASHAV training centers in which they studied.
    Follow-up is also encouraged and maintained through SHALOM, a magazine published in English, Spanish, and French languages for MASHAV alumni, offering information about Israel's cultural, scientific and technological achievements. It also provides an appropriate medium for the communication and exchange of new ideas and supplies a suitable platform for a fruitful interchange of knowledge.
    The convening of the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid on 30 October 1991 led to both the establishment and renewal of diplomatic ties and enhanced MASHAV activities with a growing number of countries, once hostile towards or previously at war with Israel. In some cases, trainees from countries having no diplomatic relations with Israel participate in MASHAV courses in Israel. Currently MASHAV is cooperating with 143 countries, including many Middle Eastern states, hosting trainees from Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, to foster the up building and renewal of the region and restore peace and confidence among its people.