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MASHAV:
Activity Report - 2003


MASHAV: Table of Contents | Mission & Overview | Recent Accomplishments


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MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, is a very different development organization. We are different in many ways – first and foremost, in our origins. When MASHAV was first founded in 1958, Israel was itself a developing country meeting many of the challenges still faced by the developing world today. At the same time as many of the countries of the South were emerging from colonial rule, we in Israel were dealing with a severe food crisis in a semi-arid country necessitating rationing of food to all Israeli civilians, with the absorption of hundreds of thousands of refugees from post-Holocaust Europe and Arab lands, with post-conflict rehabilitation of victims of war. In order for Israel to become the developed country it is today, we had to find ways to make the desert bloom, to provide new rural communities with the social and economic infrastructure necessary for their welfare, to ensure rapid economic growth in a resource-poor country and to provide education and social services for a growing, multi-ethnic population.

Israel succeeded in all of these tasks and thus transformed itself into the modern economy we are today. Some would call this the Israeli miracle. But, in truth, it was not miracles that enabled us to progress but rather the generation of creative human and technological solutions to the severe challenges that we faced. These are the precise solutions that MASHAV has aimed, from day one, to put at the disposal of the developing world.

Our unique origins have informed our approach to development. Our own experience has taught us the importance of capacity-building and empowerment in any development process. Thus, MASHAV has always espoused the concept of development through partnership. We recognize the importance of working with our partners is the South to develop together solutions appropriate for them, empowering and building capacities rather than merely importing and imposing standardized ideas. Similarly, we believe that partnership between development organizations themselves is essential, combining efforts in a coordinated manner in order to maximize impact. In MASHAV’s case, this means that we are committed to working together with other development organizations in integrated regional projects, contributing Israel’s unique experience and expertise wherever they may be relevant and useful.

The past year has been a year of partnership building. We signed an agreement with USAID Romania for joint programming there, as well as continuing our widespread cooperation with USAID in Central Asia. We entered into new cooperative arrangements with organizations such as the Corvus Foundation of Switzerland which now co-sponsors ophthalmological missions to the developing world to treat preventable blindness and continued to cooperate in joint projects with numerous NGOs, UN bodies and national ODAs. In addition, we also expanded our relationships with Southern partners, launching new agricultural projects in China, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Thailand and Uzbekistan among others.

It is our belief that, as the world development community continues to move towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the principle of partnership is essential for our success. For, only by working together, as development organizations, Northern and Southern governments and NGOs, coordinating our efforts and harmonizing our goals, will we be able to bring about the rapid development and sustainable change that Israel itself once benefited from, so that the Israeli “miracle” will no longer be considered an exception to the rule, but rather the story of the developing world as a whole.

Arie Arazi
Head of MASHAV
Deputy Director General
Foreign Ministry of Israel

Training Department

Human Capacity Building

Human capacity building remains the main priority of MASHAV. We are proud of our highly extensive training program, which includes a uniquely wide range of subjects and languages. Almost 300 international and single-country courses annually are offered in Israel and abroad for thousands of participants, in subjects including agriculture, medicine and public health, science and technology, management and entrepreneurship, education and economic, social, community and rural development. Over the years, almost 200,000 professionals have participated in MASHAV courses. Many have later gone on to serve in key positions, enabling them to further disseminate the skills and knowledge gained in MASHAV courses.

MASHAV’s training program benefits from the following advantages:

* A network of MASHAV-affiliated study centers and academic and professional institutions, providing high-level facilities and expert instruction for courses both in Israel and abroad.

* Access to a wide range of Israeli policy-makers, academics and professionals, with experience in fields of particular importance to the developing world.

* Use of the Israeli experience of development over its 50 years of existence as a model of instruction.

* A multilingual population, providing expert instruction in English, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic and other languages.

Numerous international organizations, NGOs, and donor countries have taken advantage of MASHAV’s unique training program, sponsoring or co-funding, with MASHAV, trainees from their partner countries and programs. These organizations include UN agencies, other international organizations and national development cooperation agencies and NGOs.

Among the list of our co-sponsors are: USAID, CIDA, FAO, UNDP, ILO, OAS, WHO, UNESCO, the Soros Foundation, UNICEF, Corunum - John Paul II Foundation and the World Bank.

Training Activities

Israel’s cooperation with developing countries involves activities throughout the world in three different ways:

Courses in Israel

Based on work plans and relevant topics, MASHAV, in conjunction with professional and academic institutes, holds advanced training courses in Israel, in five languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Russian. The courses are offered in agriculture, health issues, community development, education, cooperation and other subjects. Course participants spend between three weeks and five months in Israel.

Short-term on-the-spot courses

Experts travel to the country in question, as a result of an official request channeled through Israel’s representations. Over a two to four week period, courses are held on a range of subjects: agriculture, medicine, organizing cooperatives, business entrepreneurship, to name just a few. In 2003, some 132 such courses were held throughout the world.

Short and long-term experts

In response to an official request by a country requiring assistance, an Israeli expert comes to carry out a project involving both training activities and practical demonstrations. The expert resides in the country to which s/he has been assigned, on a day-to-day basis handling a specific topic which has been selected by the local bodies and agents. In 2003, over 153 short term consultancies and some 14 long-term consultancies were held by MASHAV experts worldwide involving a wide range of subjects.

MASHAV Projects

MASHAV projects seek to advance our primary goal of capacity building in areas in which Israel has a competitive advantage. Our main project focus is on agricultural pilot and demonstration projects which serve as a platform for training, extension and research and development. We also work with partner countries to set up support networks for micro-enterprises, small and medium enterprises and agribusinesses. In addition, each year, we complete a select number of small-scale, turnkey medical infrastructure projects.

The guiding principles of MASHAV projects are sustainability and replicability. These aims are achieved by the following means:

* Every MASHAV project is accompanied by extensive capacity-building and training activities both in Israel and on the project site.

* MASHAV is committed to long-term, follow-up activities in all its projects, including the posting of long-term expert consultants at project sites.

* Project technologies are carefully selected to suit the needs and capacities of the local populations. Similarly, methodologies taught are designed to be easily replicable by individuals or small collectives.

* MASHAV projects are designed in cooperation with host countries and local partner institutions. Maximum flexibility is maintained in order to address specific local needs.

Haigud Society for Transfer of Technology

Haigud serves as the financial and administrative arm of MASHAV, and functions as a professional unit to assist in the implementation of MASHAV activities.

Haigud was established in 1963 as a government company and is a non-profit organization owned by the Government of Israel.

Haigud acts as liaison with government agencies and voluntary organizations.

Haigud is managed by a Board of Directors composed of government and public representatives; a Director General (who also serves as the Deputy-Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Head of MASHAV); a Deputy Director-General; a representative of the Government Companies Authority; and an Accountant, a Legal Advisor and an Internal Comptroller.

Training Abroad

Courses Abroad

Short-term on-the-spot courses

On-the-spot courses, given in the participants' home countries, are an integral part of the training activities of MASHAV. Experts travel to the country in question, as a result of an official request channeled through Israel’s representations. Over a two to four week period, courses are held on a range of subjects: agriculture, medicine, education, business entrepreneurship, to name just a few. In 2003, some 132 such courses were held throughout the world.

Consultancies

MASHAV Training Activities

Israel’s cooperation with developing countries involves activities throughout the world:

Short- and long-term consultancies

In response to an official request by a country requiring assistance, an Israeli expert comes to carry out a project involving both training activities and practical demonstrations. The expert resides in the country to which s/he has been assigned, on a day-to-day basis handling a specific topic which has been selected by the local bodies and agents. In 2003, some 153 short-term consultancies and 12 long-term consultancies were held by MASHAV experts worldwide involving a wide range of subjects.

International Partnerships

Joint Projects

MASHAV is strongly in favour of forging partnerships with other donor bodies, international organizations and NGOs in order to enhance the efficacy of our work in the developing world. In our experience, such partnerships enable each donor to bring its own areas of development expertise to better achieve common goals. In addition, MASHAV recognizes the importance of coordination with other donor partners responsible for sectoral-based programs and is willing to contribute MASHAV’s unique capacities, where relevant, to the broader programs of other donor organizations.

USAID-MASHAV Partnership in Central Asia

In 2001, a Grant Agreement was signed with USAID–Central Asian Region for the co-financing of a wide variety of Joint Projects in the Central Asian Region, with particular focus on Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The goal of the new USAID-MASHAV assistance strategy for Central Asia is to expand opportunities for the citizens of emerging Central Asian states, helping them to improve their governance, livelihood and quality of life. The primary objectives of the program are as follows:

* Fostering small-scale enterprise and trade, including through the establishment or agricultural consulting centers and demonstration farms

* Building a more democratic culture

* Better management of water and energy resources, including by environmental demonstrations in wetland management in the Aral Sea disaster zone and using biological techniques to drain waterlogged soil in the Ferghana Valley

* Improved primary healthcare, especially with regard to infectious diseases

A similar cooperative USAID-MASHAV program has recently been launched in Romania.

USAID-MASHAV Partnership in Romania

In early 2002 a Grant Agreement was signed with USAID Romania for the funding of joint projects in the field of agribusiness. The MASHAV-USAID partnership in Romania aims at expanding opportunities for the people of Romania and improving their standards of living by developing a vital, competitive, export market-oriented agricultural sector. The program is targetted to achieve measurable increases in exports of competitive agricultural products through product development, increased efficiency, improved technology, farm mamagement and seed varieties. In addition, it will catalyze and support creation of competitive private agricusinesses.The program intends to achieve the result of moving portions of the agriculture sector toward becoming commercially successful exporters through activities for quality improvements in food processing, agricultural policy and private sector advocacy.

The program draws upon Israeli expertise in agribusiness and in important technologies such as irrigation for smallholder farms as well as the skills of some of the 250,000 Romanian speakers now resident in israel in order to execute a capacity building program. The program includes short and log-term technical assistance missions, training and grants.

The Danish Agency for Development Assistance - DANIDA

In light of the success of the Denmark-Egypt-Israel Trilateral Training Program (TTP) in the years 1996-1999, the Government of Denmark initiated a three-year Regional Agricultural Program (RAP) which includes Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. This program concludes by the end of 2004. Under discussion is a new phase of the program which is planned for 2005.

International Program for Arid Lands Crops - IPALAC

MASHAV sponsors a variety of programs of Ben Gurion University’s International Program for Arid Lands Crops (IPALAC). These programs are dedicated to improving agricultural productivity and ensuring food security in arid and semi-arid lands, with particular focus on small and medium farmers in the Sahel region of Africa. IPALAC works in cooperation with African agricultural research organizations and NGOs in order to develop ground-breaking technologies and methodologies suitable for the specific needs and culture of each partner. In addition, numerous international organizations and NGOs have invested in IPALAC’s activities, including the Government of Finland, Africare, World Vision, the Pope John Paul II Foundation, UNESCO, FAO, the International Development Research Center of Canada, the Desert Margins Program of the World Bank’s Consultative Group International Agricultural Research, the International Foundation and the Brach Foundation.

Grassroots Management with the World Bank

Since its establishment in 1961, the Golda Meir Mount Carmel Training Center (MCTC), a MASHAV extension, has dedicated itself to empowering and building the capacities of the world’s poorest women through an extensive training program of gender-sensitive courses, such as community development and organization and management of grassroots income-generating projects for women. It is this experience which has led to collaboration between MASHAV and the MCTC and the World Bank’s Economic Development Institute’s Grassroots Management Training and Outreach Program (GMT), which was first set up in 1993 to reduce poverty by imparting basic management skills to low-income people.

Since 1997, the MCTC and the World Bank have collaborated on a number of programs in this field, including incorporation of GMT modules taught by World Bank lecturers in MCTC courses on income generating projects (with selection of candidates jointly provided by the two bodies). Recently, another aspect to this collaboration was added with the participation of MCTC lecturers in World Bank distance learning courses on managing income generating activities for women. In 2002, MCTC staff and trainees participated with the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) of the Organization of American States in a distance learning program on small businesses broadcast over the World Bank's Global Distance Learning Network, with a linkup to various countries in Latin America. As a result of this positive experience, the World Bank is presently sponsoring a Business Labs Project for Young Entrepreneurs, including a 4-year commitment to training school teachers in Ecuador to promote entrepreneurship within schools

MASHAV-CIDA-Guatemala Community Rehabilitation Project

This Year 2000 Project is an example of how the combined efforts of MASHAV with other development organizations, each focusing on its own area of expertise, can have greater impact than the efforts of one organization alone. The project aimed at bringing Israeli and Canadian expertise to the service of Guatemalans from the Ixican province who were disabled in the course of the civil war which ended in 1996. Canada, with its considerable experience in the field, provided training in physical rehabilitation of the disabled. Israel’s contribution to the project was in the field of economic rehabilitation and the development of income-generating projects. MASHAV provided training, in the form of tailor-made courses, both in Guatemala and in Israel, for Guatemalans who work with the disabled, and, in particular, victims of the civil war. In the context of the project, Israel trained representatives of both the army and the former opposition combatants, social workers, nurses, doctors, community workers, NGO representatives and members of indigenous communities. In addition, Israel assisted in the establishment of a development center in Nebaj, Guatemala, whose function was to provide a support platform for micro-enterprises. The development center was modeled after ones in Israel for disadvantaged populations in conflict zones.

MASHAV Training Extensions: CINADCO

CINADCO - The Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation

The Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO), of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is MASHAV's main professional and operational institution in Israel for international agricultural development cooperation.

CINADCO's activities focus on key issues and problems in agricultural development facing rural and peri-urban communities.

CINADCO's main functions include:

* Human resource development – training courses and seminars in Israel and in partner countries involving practical training for professionals, leading farmers, and agricultural technicians;

* Initiation and development of transfer of know-how modalities in different agricultural and resource base conditions;

* Professional and operational support for agricultural demonstration programs and projects;

* Professional and consultancy services for small and medium agribusiness entrepreneurship (SMEs) development;

* Long-and short-term consultancy missions overseas;

* Joint research on agriculture-related subjects in host countries with the participation of local experts.

CINADCO's activities take place in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America and in a number of training centers in Israel. CINADCO's courses are conducted in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and other local languages.

CINADCO draws upon the core of the professional skills of experts in the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other specialized in-country and international entities. A professional and operational network has likewise been developed with NGOs and international institutes to enhance networking and development cooperation.

www.cinadco.moag.gov.il

CINADCO Publications

CINADCO recently updated a publication providing a profile of the organization’s vision both in terms of its professional and operational activities. In this publication, you can also see the people running the show.

“Global agricultural development challenges, with special focus on developing countries,” CINADCO’s publication notes, “will play a significant role as we progress into the 21st century. In view of the world globalization process, international cooperation will have to challenge the need to enhance rural incomes and economic growth through greater sustainable and efficient agricultural production output. It is envisaged that the effort to close the food gap in developing countries will create more rural employment and income, thus advancing industry, services and trade.”

CINADCO, the Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, working in conjunction with MASHAV, describes its international training activities, development projects, overseas training and cooperation on research and development programs in this new publication.

In addition, a newly-designed Catalogue of Overseas Training Programs in Agriculture and Rural Development, more commonly known as on-the-spot courses, available via CINADCO has just been printed. It provides an in-depth look at some 68 different kinds of courses and workshops CINADCO is able to organize and conduct at the request of cooperating countries, organizations and institutions.

For more information: overseas@moag.gov.il

Our Training Extensions: MCTC

The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center - MCTC

The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC), established in Haifa in 1961, is one of MASHAV's first training centers. It was founded in order to train professional women and men from developing countries and transitional societies, providing them with the necessary tools for women's empowerment. To this end, three areas of study have been developed, all with the objective of enabling women to participate in the development process of their communities and consequently advance their status:

* Community Development, particularly NGO and Community Service Management, Media Strategies for Social Change, and Rehabilitation within the Community;

* Micro-enterprise Development, including Organization and Management, Support Systems and Rural Tourism, all with an emphasis on women entrepreneurs;

* Early Childhood Education, including teacher-training methodologies for kindergartens and day-care, children with special needs, parental involvement, emergent literacy, science, music and art.

The Center's underlying philosophy stresses the importance of bottom-up, grassroots-led development and the recognition of women's contribution to their countries' development. MCTC methodology incorporates a strongly "hands-on" approach, wherever possible based on observation visits, case studies presented by participants from their own work experience and problem solving through simulation exercises.

International courses are held in English, Spanish and French. In addition, several tailor-made courses and workshops are commissioned annually by government and non-governmental bodies on specific topics. The majority of courses and workshops run between three to seven weeks and most participants are professionals, aged between 25-50, with at least seven years experience in their field.

Week-long International Seminars and Symposia take place biennially on development themes of current interest for women leaders active in public life in the developing and industrialized countries. Throughout the year two-to-three-week workshops are conducted in host countries at the request of government agencies or non-governmental organizations in the trainees' countries of origin.

MCTC cooperates with a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations (ACWF, CCBCC, Soros), international aid agencies (USAID, OAS, IDB, GIFRID, WBI), international women's organizations (Soroptimist International, Women's Mediterranean Forum, International Council of Women) and United Nations specialized agencies such as ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD and UNDP.

Our Training Extensions: Aharon Ofri International Training Center

The Aharon Ofri International Training Center

The Aharon Ofri International Training Center was established in 1989, as a MASHAV extension, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Since its inception, the Center has focused its activity on educational fields that contribute to regional and human resource development.

The Ofri Center's program includes a variety of subjects targeted to educational staff, directors, supervisors and decision-making people in the field of education. The Center's focus is on three fields deemed essential to economic development and society building:

* Science and Technology Education

* Community Education

* Educational Management

The Center's courses deal with a wide range of topics, including: Science and Technology Education; The use of I.C.T in Education (The Internet and e-learning in Schools); Curriculum Development and Study Planning; Educational Technologies including the use of frontal and advanced teaching tools; Adjusting Teaching Methods and Didactic Materials; Community Education and Educational Initiatives; Environmental Education; Prevention of Drug Abuse; Democracy and Civic Education; Migration and Integration for Development; Urban Renewal; Special Education; Education for Gifted Children; Teachers Training; Education System Design and School Management; Higher Education Systems; Media and Visual Communications.

The Center directs its activities towards both the formal and informal educational frameworks, while focusing on target populations such as field workers and senior decision makers. The Center cooperates with educators, principals, local and regional educational supervisors, heads of municipal and regional educational departments, curriculum planners, senior administrators, lecturers and university staff. These professionals are considered to be agents of change, thus transferring the experience and knowledge acquired in Israel to members of the educational community in their respective countries.

The Aharon Ofri Center offers courses in English, Spanish and Russian as well as providing for MASHAV on-the-spot courses in a variety of subjects. The on-the-spot courses are organized under the auspices of the host countries themselves, following contacts with local Israeli experts.

The Center provides single-country tailor-made courses and seminars in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations from different countries.

Week-long International Seminars and Symposia take place biennially on Educational development themes of current interest for Governments, Educational Institutions and non-governmental organizations.

The Ofri Center works in full cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Israel and is connected with governmental and non-governmental organizations, international aid agencies (USAID, OAS, IDB, GIFRID, WBI), and United Nations specialized agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF and CIMI.

Recent Seminars, Tailor Made Courses and On-the-Spot Courses

Seminar for Judges from Colombia – The Seminar was held during June 2003 for 21 participants of the Colombian judiciary and headed by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice in Colombia. The Seminar was a joint project of USAID, MASHAV, the Supreme Court of Israel – the Training Institute for Judges in Israel and the Republic of Colombia.

Seminar on “Educational Initiatives” – The Seminar was held during December 2003 for Vice Ministers of Education and General Directors of Education Ministries that came from Armenia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Honduras, Latvia, Malawi, Romania, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Education for Gifted Children” – Three Tailor made courses for a total of 100 Korean Teachers from Busan metropolitan city Office of Education, Seoul metropolitan city Office of Education and Daejeon metropolitan city Office of Education. The 3-weeks long training courses were held during July 2003, January 2004 and February 2004 and were planned according with Korea's new educational reforms in education of gifted children.

On the Spot Courses:

* Radio Training for Managers, Journalists and Technicians – Nigeria 2003

* Educational Supervisors Training – Sao Tome 2003

* ICT in Vocational Education – Malawi 2004

Our Training Extensions: Weitz Center for Development Studies

Weitz Center for Development Studies

The Weitz Center for Development Studies, founded in 1963, has been engaged since its establishment in local and regional development planning in Israel and, within the framework of MASHAV, in the developing world.

More than 3,000 professionals have taken part in the Weitz Center training programs, whose objective is to enhance the ability of participants to improve conditions in underdeveloped regions of their countries through an integrated development strategy and the application of appropriate methodologies for planning and implementation. Training courses of the Weitz Center are interdisciplinary and application oriented.

Amongst the Weitz Center's most important courses is the International Rural Regional Development Planning Course (IRRDP), which brings together professionals from around the world and from a variety of disciplines. The IRRDP course is divided into a five-month academic stage held in Israel, and a two month practical stage, conducted in a designated host country. During the latter stage, participants grouped into interdisciplinary teams prepare a comprehensive development planning project for a selected region in the host country under the guidance of Weitz Center experts. The host country where the practical stage is conducted benefits not only from the training of its professionals but also from an integrated development plan which includes macro-regional and sectorial plans, as well as several derived "Project Profiles," which can be later implemented. Many of the host countries have implemented most, or a large part, of the planning project.

IRRDP courses have been conducted since 1969, with the participation of thousands of professionals from developing countries. Dozens of countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Mediterranean have hosted the practical stage of the course.

The Weitz Center also conducts programs on specific subjects related to social-economic development, such as Industrial Development in Rural Areas, Local Economic Development, Rural Tourism Projects and Public and Business Administration in Rural Areas.

Our Training Extensions: Affiliate Training Centers

The Israel Agricultural Research Organization - Volcani Center

The Israel Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) is the driving force behind Israel's agricultural development. The ARO is involved in solving current problems in agricultural production, with the introduction of new products, processes and equipment, as well as carrying out research projects on which Israel's future agricultural efforts will be based.

The ARO consists of seven institutes, located on its main campus at Bet Dagan (the Volcani Center), and four experimental stations located off-campus.

Many ARO developments – particularly in protected crop cultivation, irrigation, arid-zone agriculture, produce handling, plant protection, machinery and new varieties of fruits, vegetables and ornamentals – have been commercialized in Israel and abroad.

MASHAV activities in cooperation with the ARO include:

* Presentation of international research and development courses on a variety of subjects for postgraduate students, promising young researchers in agriculture and agricultural experts. It is intended that the participants will transfer the knowledge and technologies learned to their home countries. A course on irrigation has been given for nearly 30 years; additional courses deal with plant protection and postharvest technology for agricultural products.

* Provision of six-to-eight-month scholarships for researchers carrying out their projects on a one-to-one basis with senior ARO scientists.

* Training courses abroad: ARO researchers travel to host countries and present specialized lectures, seminars and courses in their areas of expertise.

* Extension and consultancies in special international projects: ARO researchers travel abroad as agricultural extension agents.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment Quality Sciences

The Faculty, established in 1942, is one of the most prominent institutions in the world in the field of agricultural research and education. It is the only faculty in the country for training agronomists and agricultural researchers from Israel, in addition to researchers from both developed and developing countries.

The Division for External Studies, acting as the Faculty's executive arm, is involved in a number of areas of international activity such as short-term postgraduate courses and long-term graduate and postgraduate studies, which include both an English-language M.Sc. degree and diploma programs. Tailor-made courses have also been created in order to meet specific needs of partner countries. Course topics include: biotechnology, food management, protected agriculture, groundwater management, aquaculture, dairy and beef cattle management, poultry management, food technology and sustainable horticulture.

Informal relationships are created at all levels, as teachers and students work side-by-side in the laboratory. As a result of this approach, research activities are frequently maintained between Israeli lecturers and Division course graduates. This enables participants to further their country's progress toward modernized agriculture.

Tel Aviv University, Sackler Faculty of Medicine School of Continuing Medical Education

Established in 1988, the International Postgraduate Training Program in Medicine is a joint program of MASHAV and the School of Continuing Medical Education at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine of the Tel Aviv University. The program offers a three-month individualized training program to qualified and experienced physicians. The training is undertaken in the physicians chosen specialized field of interest, in affiliated departments of medical institutions in the greater Tel Aviv area.

The entire program is conducted in English. Basic instruction in emergency medicine and primary life support is also part of the curriculum. The participants take an active part in the daily routine of the departments, and in conferences, seminars and congresses that take place in Israel during their stay.

The doctors are also taken on tours of the country and are invited to social activities that are specially organized for them. The trainees are encouraged to identify some bilateral research project of mutual interest to the host department and their home medical system.

Courses begin in autumn, winter and spring. The participants receive a temporary license to practice medicine from the Ministry of Health, as well as being covered by malpractice insurance and health insurance for as long as they are enrolled in the program. Upon successful completion of the training program, a graduation certificate is awarded.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research

The Institute at Sede Boqer is the Israeli national institute for scientific exploration of the desert, its natural resources, flora, fauna and human inhabitants. It is also a designated Access to Research Infrastructure (ARI) of the European Union. The institute has been a MASHAV extension since 1989.

A number of MASHAV sponsored programs are conducted at the Blaustein Institute, in the interest of promoting international collaboration, by bringing research scientists and students from all corners of the world to the Sede Boqer campus.

MASHAV courses taught over the years at the Blaustein Institute include Desert Agrobiology, Wastewater Treatment and Re-use, Conservation of Biodiversity in Desert Ecosystems and Photosynthesis and Algal Biotechnology.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Institute for Agriculture and Applied Biology

The Institute for Agriculture & Applied Biology in Beer Sheva was established to provide the scientific basis for sustainable agriculture and afforestation in Israel's Negev Desert, the semiarid region comprising 60% of Israel's land area.

Over time, research at the Institute has clustered around two main scientific topics:

* Utilizing saline groundwater for direct irrigation of economically valuable plants (fruits, vegetables, ornamental and industrial crops, etc.)

* Introduction and domestication of plants from other regions in order to evaluate their potential contribution to the development – economic or environmental – of the region.

On the basis of these these research areas, IPALAC, the International Program for And Land Crops, was launched. Its purpose, to put Israeli technologies, methodologies and, in particular, improved crop varieties to the benefit of semi-arid and arid zones in the developing world. IPALAC's partners include local scientists and researchers from host countries, non-governmental organizations, and UN and other agencies whose mandate is to improve the lot of mankind.

MASHAV has played a key role in IPALAC's development. For many years it sponsored a general course on Arid Land Crops and Technologies, and in recent years has been funding two more focused activities - a course/workshop on Trees for Arid Lands, and a course on Cultivation of the Date Palm. In addition, MASHAV has funded fact-finding and project development missions for IPALAC members to Africa and specialized training for IPALAC collaborators in Israel. In line with IPALAC's emphasis on coalition building, the Government of Finland and UNESCO have been partners with MASHAV in financing some of these activities.

The Israel Meteorological Service

The Regional Meteorological Training Center (RMTC) is a Joint enterprise of MASHAV and the Meteorological Service. Recognized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as a training center providing postgraduate training in applied meteorology, the RMTC has trained thousands of meteorologists, agronomists and hydrologists from developing countries. The center provides training in Israel and abroad. In addition it provides consultancies to meteorological services and undertakes research activities in applied meteorology and agrometeorology.

The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development

The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED) focuses on societies undergoing fundamental processes of transformation: from conflict to conflict resolution; from the rigidities of centralized economies and political dictatorship to democracy and free market economies; from poverty and dependence to selfhood and socio-economic advance. NISPED's activities include education and training, project initiation and development and consultancy in regards to these transformations and related concerns. Courses, seminars and workshops are given for leaders and trainers from relevant civil society and government bodies.

In addition to its overall framework, NISPED includes three specialized divisions: The International Center for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises; The Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation; and The international Center for Cooperative Studies.

NISPED courses are conducted in partnership with MASHAV and with other bodies including the ILO, UNIDO, UNDP, UNESCO AND WASME.

Shalom Clubs: Introduction

Shalom Clubs Worldwide

MASHAV maintains contact with many of its over 200,000 former course participants through its network of over 70 Shalom Clubs worldwide. These clubs serve as a forum for MASHAV alumni to participate in professional and social activities. Members are invited to attend local lectures by skilled experts, to exchange ideas and to organize technical cooperation and humanitarian assistance as well as holding cultural functions. Among the many activities that have been organized by Shalom Clubs in their home countries have been workshops on professional topics ranging from AIDS education to business management, organization of events to raise funds for local charities, mobilization of club members to donate their professional services for community development and humanitarian activities. Members of the Shalom Clubs play an integral role in determining the focus and scope of programming of their clubs.

Recent Activities

Vietnam

Shalom Club Vietnam has organized a number of medical camps in various provinces. The last camp took place at the Phap Vo School of Orphans Care, in Nha Be District of Ho Chi Minh County, at which three doctors examined over 70 children and 10 staff members. The medical camp concluded with a colorful performance of artists from the Ho Chi Minh National Circus.

Latin America and the Caribbean

The fourth Latin American and Caribbean Shalom Clubs Conference took place this past September in La Paz, Bolivia, with over 126 participants from 16 Latin American countries. The theme of the conference was "Fight against Poverty." The gathering encouraged the exchange of ideas and proposals for influencing the development processes in Latin American countries.

shalombolivia@yahoo.com

Peru

The first national meeting of Shalom Club Peru took place in Lima this past December, with the participation of over 55 graduates of MASHAV training courses from throughout the country. The program concluded with a discussion regarding future Shalom Club activities.

Cote d'Ivoire

Over 50 Shalom Club members and distinguished guests gathered at the residence of H.E. Ambassador Daniel Kedem in February to take part in a special workshop on promoting small and medium enterprises. The workshop was jointly organized by the Shalom Club in Abidjan and the Israeli Embassy.

Bulgaria

Shalom Club Bulgaria held its first meeting in Sofia with the participation of over 63 MASHAV course graduates, as well as guests from throughout the country. Israeli Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Abraham Sharon and the Embassy staff addressed the participants.

Shalom Clubs: Global Activities

Shalom Club Activities in Recent Years

Among the notable Shalom Club activities in recent years:

* Shalom Club Senegal, together with Israeli Embassy staff, cleaned up and helped reconstruct four schools in the Dakar area damaged as a result of exceptionally heavy rains and neglect.

* Members of Shalom Club Georgia, with the sponsorship of the Israeli Ofek Aerial Photography company, conducted free electrocardiogram checkups in an impoverished neighborhood in Tbilisi to detect heart disease.

* Shalom Club Costa Rica organized a tree planting ceremony in San Jose’s Jerusalem forest, with the participation of local school children.

* Members of Shalom Club Latvia opened a library in an underprivileged neighborhood in Riga.

* Shalom Club Vietnam organized a number of medical camps in which 3 doctors and the Club president examined over 100 infants, children and elderly people in various provinces of Vietnam. Medicine was supplied free of charge, as was a donation of fresh and powdered milk and soap.

* Shalom Club Ecuador members conducted first aid courses in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Quito where there is virtually no medical assistance of any kind. Following this successful activity, the Club established the Health Brigade to offer medical assistance to other regions and to distribute contributions of medicines from drug manufacturers and distributors.

* Shalom Club El Salvador donated food, supplies and medical services to victims of the 2001 earthquake, organizing numerous activities throughout the year to raise further donations.

* Shalom Club Philippines organized special reading sessions at the Pambata Children’s Museum for the benefit of children from the Payata area of Manila (a refuse dump in whose vicinity people live).

* Shalom Club India organized with local Mumbai trade unions a two day workshop on AIDS prevention for immigrant workers in Tana – a suburb of Mumbai.

* The President of the Dominican Republic allocated funds to help the Shalom Club there carry out projects in the area of public health, dental health, agriculture and rural planning. Club members have been active in distributing wheelchairs to underprivileged handicapped persons, raising donations of food items, sheets and clothing and providing free medical checkups.

* Shalom Club Paraguay provided agricultural education for the students of the Virgen de Caacupe Children’s Home for juvenile offenders and a “Farmer for a Day” program in which schoolchildren were invited to a guided visit at the farm of a Shalom Club member.

* Shalom Club Eritrea: The Club members organized a fund-raising activity for the local Asmara Orphanage. A special train, about to be returned to service after renovation by Eritrea’s Railway Company, was leased for the occasion. Tickets were purchased by Shalom Club members, as well as by the diplomatic community and other friends of the Israeli Embassy. The colorful event took place with the participation of over 150 people. Among them were 20 children from the orphanage who had never been on a train before. A banner reading “Shalom Train Ride from Asmara to Arberoube – Fund Raising for the Asmara Orphanage” was hung from the side. The local media accompanied the beautiful event and interviewed the organizers during the ride.

* Shalom Club Cote d’Ivoire: Following an initiative of Mr. Yapi Yapi, MASHAV graduate from a 2001 CINADCO Aquaculture course in Israel, local Shalom Club members joined together in a special project of assistance to a cooperative in the community of Marcory. The 50 cooperative members, all women, produce smoked fish in precarious conditions. In an impressive ceremony, the cornerstone for 10 new smoking ovens was laid.

Middle East Activities: Introduction

Middle East Activities

MASHAV accords top priority to cooperation with the countries and peoples of the Middle East. Since the signing of the Peace Accord with Egypt, and later, the Declaration of Principles with the Palestinians, MASHAV has been active in promoting technical cooperation with Middle Eastern partners in a wide range of fields. It is our belief that, particularly in these troubled times, there is no more important battle to be waged than the one over the hearts and minds of the peoples of the region and there is no more important strategic asset in this struggle than that of technical cooperation. When dialogue seems difficult even between the most ardent supporters of peace, common ground can still be found in farmlands and industrial parks, in hospitals and community centers. By engendering economic growth and improving social stability in the region, MASHAV activities combat fundamentalist extremism by proving that cooperating with Israel, rather than combating it, is the surest path to a better future.

The onset of violence in September 2000 posed new, at times formidable, challenges to MASHAV activities in the region. Countries such as Morocco and Tunisia suspended diplomatic relations and technical cooperation with Israel and cooperation with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority slowed significantly. We continue, however, to work diligently for the renewal of cooperation in the Middle East.

Regional Cooperation

Despite the difficult political environment, a number of regional cooperation programs still exist. The most important program is perhaps is the three year Regional Agricultural Program initiated by Denmark in 1999, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The RAP, based on the principle of partnership between all parties, with special emphasis on gender equality, focuses on applied research, professional training and demonstration farms. Cooperation takes place in five areas of activity: small ruminants, low-cost fodder, dry-land agriculture, use of saline water and post-harvest technology and marketing. There are expert meetings, study tours and professional visits, and training courses in all 5 areas of cooperation.

MASHAV also played a role in a number of other regional initiatives, the Middle Eastern Hearing Loss Association (MEHA), whose aim is to introduce mandatory checks and rehabilitation facilities for hearing loss in infants in Jordan an in the Palestinian Authority (a genetically prevalent problem in the region).

Middle East Activities: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Since the signing of the Peace Treaty in 1994, MASHAV has endeavored to initiate and enhance cooperation with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on all levels and in all fields. In recognition of the unique relationship existing between Israel and Jordan, and of the mutual benefit to be accrued by cooperation, Jordan is a priority country for MASHAV and efforts are made to develop programs wherever possible. While cooperation has grown considerably over the past six years, MASHAV believes that there is potential for a far broader range of cooperation and thus is actively seeking Jordanian partners for further joint activities.

Present project activity includes the following:

* In 2000, Israel built and fully equipped a state-of-the art Intensive Care Unit in the Red Crescent Hospital in Amman, which serves the poorest population of the capital. The project included full training of all ICU staff in a series of on-site training courses.

* In cooperation with Jordan, MASHAV operates a demonstration farm in the Karak region for intensive sheep’s milk production and processing, introducing the advanced “Awassi” sheep to the country which provide approximately four times the milk yields of indigenous sheep. The project includes over 400 sheep, a milking parlor and state-of-the-art mini dairy for the production of yoghurts and cheeses. In addition, the project's sheep have been used to upgrade local flocks through breeding activities.

* MASHAV has a beekeeping demonstration and research project in Irbid, Jordan. Israel sponsors an ongoing program of cross border cooperation, training and transfer of agricultural technology between Kibbutz Yotvata and farmers in the regions of Rahma and Umm-Mutlak.

* MASHAV sponsors numerous cooperative projects in pest control and environmental issues in areas close to the Israeli-Jordanian border.

In addition to the above projects, MASHAV trains almost 100 Jordanians annually in courses held in Israel in fields ranging from Management of Small Enterprises to Sustainable Eco-Friendly Agricultural Methods.

Middle East Activities: Arab Republic of Egypt

Arab Republic of Egypt

Since the signing of the Peace Treaty in 1978 until Egypt unilaterally suspended development cooperation with us in 2002, Egypt and Israel have closely cooperated in the field of agriculture.

Israel actively cooperated with Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation on Egypt’s national program of land reclamation (the “Mubarak project”) aimed at resettling and training unemployed university graduates on desert lands along the Nile delta. Cooperation centered on on-site demonstration activities, including professional training programs and the establishment of an irrigation demonstration plot at the Maryut International Training Center in Nubariya, Egypt and short-and long-term consultancies. In the context of this program, over 5,000 Egyptians were trained both in Israel and in Egypt and many joint R&D projects were successfully launched.

Palestinian Authority

Israel’s cooperation with the Palestinian Authority focused on human capacity building and institution building. In 2000, for example, Palestinian professionals represented the largest contingent of participants in professional training courses in Israel. Over 775 Palestinians trained in Israel in the first three quarters of the year 2000. In particular, there was fruitful cooperation in the fields of Agriculture, Environment, and Civil Society with major projects being launched between Israeli and Palestinian Ministries, hospitals and utility services providers. Unfortunately, in September 2000, the Palestinian Authority issued a clear directive to all official Palestinian bodies and NGOs to suspend all cooperation with Israel. It is our hope that with advances in the political process, it will be possible to once again achieve the high level of cooperation which we once enjoyed.


Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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