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Mashav is Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mashav is responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of the State of Israel's worldwide development and cooperation programs in developing countries. MASHAV believes that its 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. MASHAV's development programs are conducted through workshops and training in the fields of agriculture, education and medicine and are funded jointly with multinational organizations such as the OAS, the Inter-American Development Bank, the UN development plan, UNESCO and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Since its inception in late 1957, Mashav has striven to share with the rest of the developing world the know-how and technologies which provided the basis for Israel's own rapid development. Mashav 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. It has since blossomed into an extensive program of cooperation throughout the developing world, with the aim of promoting sustainable development and social equity.
MASHAV grew gradually and organically in response to repeated requests on the part of the peoples that freed themselves from the yoke of colonialism and were seeking practical and political means of ridding themselves of poverty, hunger and disease that was the heritage of that era.
Since its establishment, over 270,000 professionals from more than 132 countries have participated in Mashav's training programs. Mashav promotes the centrality of human resource enrichment and institutional capacity building in the development process – an approach which has attained global consensus, and implements this principle by offering professional training courses in Israel and in host countries and short and long-term professional consultations.
Mashav's philosophy is to encourage professionals from the developing world to find their own solutions to development issues and adapt them to the reality of their countries own specific needs and potential, guided by the international agreed principles of aid effectiveness such as demand driven programs, country ownership, improved coordination and more.
Mashav operates according to the needs and demands originating from the partner countries, as opposed to supply driven programs initiated by Israel that might not be relevant and effective elsewhere.
Mashav updates its professional training programs in face of current global challenges such as adaptation to climate change and food security, concentrating on human capacity building in developing countries by imparting know-how and transferring innovative technologies and tested methodologies adaptable to developing country needs. In events of natural disasters Mashav provides humanitarian assistance and participates in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
Mashav's approach is to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainable development, joining the international community efforts of implementing the Millennium Development Goals. Since its inception, Mashav's activities in the developing world have been guided by the basic approach that development work is organic in nature. It is impossible to concentrate efforts in one area, such as food security, without providing proper attention to health care, community building and education. Only through a sustainable and comprehensive development program can measured results be obtained and the desired impact felt by those who need assistance the most.
- Aynor, Hanan S. (1990). Thirty Years of Israel's International Technical Assistance & Cooperation. Jerusalem: Haigud, Society for Transfer of Technology.