•   Izraelska agencija za međunarodni razvoj i saradnju
    Israel’s official overseas development cooperation was launched in 1958 with the aim of sharing with the rest of the developing world the know-how and technologies which provided the basis for Israel’s own rapid development. 

    MASHAV, the Hebrew acronym for the Centre for International Cooperation, was established as a division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What started as a modest program focused on grassroots-level human capacity building at a time when Israel itself was still very much a developing country, has blossomed into an extensive program of cooperation throughout the developing world with the aim of promoting sustainable development and social equity.

    Since 1958, MASHAV has trained almost 200,000 course participants from approximately 140 countries in Israel and abroad and has developed dozens of demonstration projects worldwide in fields of Israeli expertise.

    MASHAV's programs encourage trainees to find their own solutions to problems and adapt them to their respective cultural and social values, economic potential, natural resources and regional priorities.

    Over the years, MASHAV has consistently made its priority the aims of poverty alleviation, provision of food security, empowerment of women and upgrade of basic health and education services, putting Israel's own creative solutions at the disposal of the developing world. The formalization of these priorities in the Millennium Development Goals has only caused us to redouble our longstanding efforts to put Israeli solutions at the service of the developing world in order to further these aims.

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  • MASHAV's Guiding Principles


    MASHAV's guiding principles essentially remain the same today as they were when the agency was first founded:

    MASHAV activities focus on areas in which Israel has a comparative advantage and/or accumulated expertise.  MASHAV believes that our greatest possible 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 education, community development, emergency and disaster medicine, refugee absorption and employment programs, and many, many others.                 


    MASHAV believes in active consultation with local partners. For development cooperation to work, it is not enough to help the South learn new technologies and methodologies which have had positive effect elsewhere. The solutions that may work in one culture or geographical area often can be inappropriate or even harmful in another environment. Thus, we understand the importance of developing solutions in partnership with local organizations, asking them to help us adapt ideas to local needs rather than just blindly adopt them.


    MASHAV is committed to cooperation throughout the developing world.  We do not limit our activities to a small number of target countries: our focus is on areas of expertise rather than on geographical areas. We extend our hand in partnership wherever Israel’s experience is relevant.


    MASHAV prefers small-scale activities aimed at “bottom-up”, community-driven development. MASHAV endeavors to identify relevant micro-project activities that can serve as a catalyst for wider-scale development, targeting the grassroots in many of our activities.


    MASHAV’s focus is on human capacity building and training. Our belief is that training of trainers and other capacity building activities is the best way to achieve maximum impact in development activity. Education leads to empowerment – the surest guarantee of sustainable growth.


    MASHAV seeks cooperative projects with other development organizations. MASHAV offers partnership in subjects 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. Consequently, MASHAV endeavors to be active throughout the Middle East, regardless of the political climate.

  • Historical Background

    The development of scientific research and technology in Israel is an integral part of the story of the Jewish people's return to its homeland. After achieving independence in 1948, scientific research and technological development were key factors in shaping Israel into a modern state, as new and innovative capabilities were tested and implemented to meet the challenges of a growing country with scarce natural resources. 

    Expressing the country's desire to share knowledge gained from its own development experience, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, advocated 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 - economic, social and scientific..."

    In 1958, Foreign Minister Golda Meir first visited Africa. Deeply moved by the challenges faced by the newly-independent African nations, she was convinced that Israel should play a significant role in assisting them in their struggle with problems of health, education, malnutrition, low status of women in the development process and lack of resources. Her personal commitment to international cooperation led to the setting up of MASHAV, a Centre for International Cooperation within Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Scope of Activities


    MASHAV began its activities on a small scale. In the first year of operation (1958), 137 trainees, mostly from a few countries in Asia and Africa, participated in its training courses in Israel. Five years later (1963), the number of participants reached 1,262, mainly in the fields of agriculture, cooperation and labor studies, and medicine and public health, with the majority coming from Africa and the rest from Asia, the Mediterranean Basin and Latin America. That same year, MASHAV experts were sent for the first time to host countries to conduct "on-the-spot" training course: 21 courses were held in 19 countries with 393 participants.

    In 1999, MASHAV saw the arrival of its 70,000th trainee since its inception. During the same period of time, over 11,000 MASHAV experts were sent abroad on short- and long-term missions. In light of the Middle East Peace Process, in 1999 the number of trainees reached 4,501 - 1,386 of them from Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority - while 5,402 participated in "on-the-spot" training in their own countries.

    Currently, MASHAV has trained almost 200,000 course participants from approximately 140 countries in Israel and abroad and has developed dozens of demonstration projects worldwide in fields of Israeli expertise.

    The largest scope of MASHAV's activity focuses on adapting new agriculture technologies to eliminate hunger and poverty affecting millions of people in the developing world, as well as on problems arising from inadequate medical and preventive health services in developing countries, continue to be of great concern. Cooperation in this field focuses on the areas of ophthalmology, epidemiology and HIV/AIDS.

  • MASHAV Activities

    Courses in Israel are conducted in various MASHAV-affiliated Institutions throughout the country. Some are international courses, in which trainees from various countries study in classes conducted in a common language; others are national courses, devoted to trainees from the same country. 

    Participants include graduate students, professionals, instructors, field workers, technicians and senior government personnel. Classes are small, affording individual attention to each student. Designed to present concepts and ideas, courses do not impose specific models or solutions. At the end of each course, participants are required to present an original project. Follow-up studies indicated that about one third of these project proposals are eventually carried out or provide a basis for project planning in the participants' home countries.

    MASHAV's programs are intended to reach diverse populations with a wide spectrum of educational backgrounds and work experiences, as well as to enable participants, including teachers, farmers, engineers, community workers, regional planners, physicians and nutritionists, to transmit skills learned for the training of others. While levels of education and experience vary, MASHAV strives to tailor its courses to address the development priorities of each student.

    On-the-spot courses are conducted by MASHAV experts for local trainees. Training concentrates on areas in which Israel has gained experience: agriculture and rural society, education, social development, public health, environmental and natural resources protection, and women in a developing society.

    Short-term consultancies are arranged at the request of the host country, with MASHAV experts sent to provide specific advisory services or assistance in program implementation, to conduct a survey on a particular topic or to give support to MASHAV personnel on long-term projects.

    Long-term consultancies involve MASHAV experts sent at the request of the host country to assist in the design, implementation, management or general assessment of pilot or development projects, or to supervise demonstration farms and advisory centers established by MASHAV in several countries.

    Trilateral research programs, under MASHAV's auspices and in cooperation with government bodies, are designed to assist the developing world.