MASHAV – Israel’s Agency
for International Development

Sharing Israel’s Technological Expertise

MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – is responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of the State of Israel’s development cooperation programs.

MASHAV focuses on human capacity building and training for development in areas where Israel has comparative advantage and accumulated expertise, by encouraging professionals to find their own solutions to development issues and adapt them to the reality of their countries own specific needs and potential.

MASHAV’s programs and consultancies are carried out in cooperation with relevant government ministries, as well as universities, research institutions and professional bodies and cover a wide range of topics in the following fields: Agriculture and Water Issues; Socio-Economic Development; Rural and Urban Development; Education; Health and Medicine; Women Empowerment and Humanitarian Assistance.

“We in MASHAV believe that our greatest possible contribution can be made in fields where Israel has experience directly relevant to developing nations,” explained Ambassador Haim Divon, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Head of MASHAV. “The local populations that we work with, and the professionals who participate in our programs both in Israel and abroad, recognize that our know-how is relevant and highly effective.”

Israel is in a unique position in the international development arena: It began as a developing country, and continued to be so for many years after its establishment as a state in 1948. The fact that the young nation was able to overcome severe challenges and build a strong society with an advanced economy was the first lesson regarding the importance of sharing with other developing and newly independent countries.

Founded in 1957, MASHAV is one of the oldest international development agencies in the world and one of the first to be active in Africa and Asia. MASHAV is unique in two very important aspects:
1. Proven solutions to development challenges - making available the wealth of knowledge and expertise accumulated in Israel for more than 60 years to meet today’s development challenges.
2. The message that difficulties and development challenges are surmountable. If one considers the hardships that Israel had to face: difficult climatic conditions; large waves of new immigrants arriving from different countries and backgrounds; a hostile neighborhood; very poor infrastructure; and few natural resources – then success is possible for other countries as well.

As a small agency, MASHAV has to carefully plan its programming in order to bring about the desired impact and change. Therefore the following guidelines were set:
1. Concentrate on fields and disciplines in which Israel has a comparative advantage, know-how and experience;
2. Being effective: result oriented and demand driven instead of supply driven;
3. Horizontal partnerships;
4. Human capacity building rather than investing in infrastructure.
Since its inception, over 260,000 professionals have taken part in MASHAV’s professional training programs. MASHAV’s programs and consultancies are carried out in cooperation with relevant government ministries, as well as universities, research institutions and professional bodies. On-the-spot programs take place in countries around the world on diverse subjects and are planned, directed and evaluated jointly by a local partner and a team of Israeli experts.

A wide spectrum of short and long-term consultancies, combined with in-country demonstration activities for transfer of know-how have, over the years, become the trademark of MASHAV’s capability of adapting solutions to local problems around the globe. MASHAV also conducts tailor-made programs, workshops and study tours in Israel and abroad specially designed to address global development challenges.

MASHAV places the issue of water high on its agenda for international cooperation. Based on its accumulated experience, Israel is poised to play a major role in supplying the world with cutting-edge solutions for water and the environment.
In July 2006, MASHAV established an inter-ministerial Forum on Water, chaired by the Deputy Director General and Head of MASHAV, Ambassador Haim Divon. Global water scarcity, water desalination, infected water reservoirs and other related problems are of high priority on the social, economic and political agenda of the international community. Ecological and economic crises, disasters, and climate change pose a serious threat to water installations, access to safe drinking water, and food security. This complicated picture regarding world water is one of the major challenges facing the 21st century. The UN, as well as many international organizations, countries, and public and private sectors are aware of this global challenge, and their actions are manifested in the many landmark resolutions and programs. The Forum on Water aims to better position Israel to address this global challenge and share its experience with the world community.

Israel’s international cooperation program in this area links its own development experience with the accumulated professional and practical knowledge gained from dealing with limited water resources. Among MASHAV’s programs regarding water issues, the following can be found: Water and wastewater treatment; Water, Sanitation and Health; Desalination systems; Groundwater resources management; Irrigation; Water resources development and management. MASHAV is presently active within the framework of the WHO Initiative and the UNECE Protocol on Water and Sanitation.
In addition to human resources enrichment programs, geared to improving vocational and professional skills through the transfer of field tested knowledge and technology, MASHAV has become a window to the living laboratory that is Israel.

“MASHAV is always alert to the economic advantages our activities have for the Israeli industry,” observes Ambassador Divon. “Israeli companies can market their systems and solutions in the wake of our programs which prove their effectiveness. Nevertheless, MASHAV’s primary purpose remains to share Israel’s development experience with emerging economies.”

WATEC Israel 2009 is not just an exhibition – it is a meeting place to discuss new and exciting ideas, exchange views, and witness new technologies. It reflects MASHAV’s spirit of partnership and its commitment to international development cooperation to ensure sustainable development around the world.

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