MASHAV activities focus on areas in which Israel has a comparative advantage and accumulated expertise. MASHAV believes that our greatest possible contribution to developing countries can be made in fields where Israel has relevant expertise accumulated during its own development experience as a young country facing similar challenges. The list of such fields is extensive, including: water resource management and irrigation, desert agriculture and combat of desertification, early childhood education, rural and community development, emergency and disaster medicine, public health, empowerment of women, and many others.
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 and the transfer of skills and capacities lead to empowerment – the surest guarantee of sustainable growth.
MASHAV operates according to international agreed standards and principles. Among them, aid effectiveness principles including: demand driven programs (as opposed to supply driven programs); country program ownership; alignment to national development programs; more coordination; and others. MASHAV adheres to the accepted international principles as stated, among others, in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro; the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development; the Monterrey Consensus; the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness; the Accra Agenda for Action; and the Doha Conference on Financing for Development.
MASHAV believes in active consultation with local partners. For development cooperation to work, it is not enough assist developing countries acquire new technologies and methodologies which have had positive effect elsewhere. The solutions that may work in one culture or geographical area can be inappropriate or even harmful in another environment. Thus, we emphasize the importance of developing local solutions in partnership with local organizations, working jointly to create new ideas or adapt ideas to local needs rather than just blindly adopt them.
MASHAV’s approach to development states that every program must be comprehensive, inclusive and carried out in an integrative fashion.
MASHAV, as part of the implementation of aid effectiveness principles and in order to become more effective and result-oriented; has commenced a process of focusing on target countries by implementing and endorsing a more comprehensive and holistic approach to meeting all basic human needs.
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 seeks cooperative projects with other development organizations. As part of the efforts towards achieving the MDGs, the international community was called to create more partnerships. MASHAV is making a special effort in this direction and offers partnerships in subjects in which Israel has a comparative advantage to development agencies (governmental and non-governmental), international organizations and development banks. MASHAV’s experience with such joint projects, often on a cost-sharing basis, has been very positive, broadening the impact of the 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 between Israel and its neighbors. Consequently, MASHAV implements bilateral and regional development cooperation programs with our neighbors and endeavors to be even more active throughout the Middle East, regardless of the political climate.