Since its establishment, MASHAV has promoted the centrality of human resource enrichment and institutional capacity building in the development process, placing the human dimension at the center of its development activity; viewing it as an end in itself, rather than as means to an end. According to this approach, development transcends the attainment of economic security and growth, and is rather defined by an individual's capability and freedom to choose and achieve the life they reason to value. Through its focus on investing in human capital and institutional capacity building, MASHAV works with local stakeholders and communities to unleash local human potential and ingenuity to develop innovative solutions to their own development challenges. This in turn strengthens the dynamic of community ownership and produces agents of change within a society. Placing the individual at the center creates resilient communities that are less dependent on external sources. A community which is composed of empowered members is more sustainable than one that receives periodical financial support.
MASHAV's development programing is comprised of technical assistance, capacity building, and the sharing of relevant knowledge to empower governments, civil society and individuals with the tools to overcome poverty and transform their communities. Based on a demand-driven approach to its activities, it works in active consultation with local partners and in accordance with the needs and demands of partner countries. MASHAV conducts its professional training and capacity building activities both in Israel and abroad while providing expert dispatches, technology transfers, and consultancy services to partner countries.
Since its establishment, approximately 280,000 professionals from over 130 developing countries have been trained in various fields in Israel and abroad, while numerous projects have been implemented in partner countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. MASHAV directs its development efforts towards countries and regions where, together with local communities and in line with national development priorities, it can achieve maximum impact.
MASHAV promotes and engages in development cooperation on a bilateral, trilateral and multilateral level to more effectively enhance development policy and strengthen global alliances, and it also recognizes the importance of engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships with civil society and the private sector. Mobilizing Israeli civil society and the private sector to invest in development activities can help generate greater resources and innovative solutions to development challenges. Moreover, for MASHAV, development cooperation also serves as a catalyst to forge bonds of peaceful collaboration between Israel and its neighbors. The agency therefore implements regional cooperation programs with neighboring countries throughout the Middle East.
MASHAV maintains that cooperation leverages the comparative advantages and expertise of each party involved and creates synergies between their complementary strengths, delivering greater results and impact on the ground. MASHAV's focus is in the fields which Israel has a comparative advantage and valuable expertise accumulated during its own development experience.
MASHAV concentrates its activities in the following sectors: