Why study MDP in Israel?

"By educating students and entrepreneurs from diverse populations how to identify, develop and deploy scalable technological solutions, we will harness and bridge untapped entrepreneurial and innovative potential, and inspire transnational venture creation that fulfills unmet market needs while adding social and economic value."


The Master in Development Practice - Sustainable Rural Development (MDP) will apply profound lessons for a global future assembled from the microcosm of Israel's local challenges in scarcity of arable land, water, energy and natural resources, climate adversity, security, and rural and urban development. Innovation created to overcome those sources of scarcity became the basis for Israel’s comparative advantage, which enabled a transition from emerging to developed economy status. This transition came about on account of Israel acquiring niche expertise through high-end R&D capabilities, technology innovations in agriculture, water, food, health and energy, and identifying and developing areas of global competitiveness. Israel’s challenges of scarcity went global as the primacy of the success of frontier and emerging markets became the key drivers for economic growth globally. Advanced and emerging markets have now traded places as the sources of demographic and relative GDP growth.

As a global laboratory for nation and market building, Israel’s experiences as a “start-up nation” provide an important research and training hub for addressing scarcity and overcoming barriers to growth. By developing climate smart technologies and sustainable solutions in water, agriculture, energy, and health, Israel is decoupling economic growth from resource use.

Decoupling is particularly important for emerging economies facing conflicting challenges of climate change, mitigation, and resilience, natural resource constraints in commodity markets and the requirements for job creation and capital formation. Creating innovative finance solutions that facilitate technology transfer catalyzes growth of human, social, and natural capital as well as real asset formation for income and wealth development. Mobilizing a trained cadre of development practitioners is key for expanding economic participation and financial inclusion.

Israel’s entrepreneurial and public policy innovation combines public-private partnerships (through both business and social enterprise) with scientific, social, economic and financial innovation. This innovation process makes Israel among the most creatively intense, inventive, resilient and diverse countries in the world.  Israel's population is a mosaic of more than 120 nations of origin, including significant diversity of Palestinian, Druze and Bedouin Arabs and other religious and ethnic minorities whose increasing financial and economic inclusion are critical to accelerate the country’s rate of economic growth. The program’s focus on agriculture, environment and social investing coupled with developing global competitiveness and regional development will provide a unique context for this experiential and classroom based professional training in development practice.

By educating students and entrepreneurs from diverse populations about how to identify, develop and deploy scalable technological solutions, we will harness and bridge untapped entrepreneurial and innovative potential, and inspire transnational venture creation that fulfills unmet market needs while adding social and economic value. The program will be a unique combination of natural, social, health and management sciences in conjunction with targeted field development research, mentorships, innovation labs, and international fellowships. This borderless ecosystem will provide unparalleled experiential learning and practical economic development progress to develop and deliver technology transfers that target sustainable development goals. 

There is a critical need—and significant unmet demand—to train in Israel’s global laboratory and to rapidly increase professional capacity in developing countries. However, current programs that focus on this goal in Israel and in the region fall short.  They are too broad focusing only upon policy and economics, but not on development practice per se; they are too academic, with insufficient attention to developing practical skills; and they are too oriented towards developed countries, and do not incorporate the specificities of a developing economy context.  This program meets the demand and the need for rigorous but practical education with demonstrable educational and project development outcomes.

The Hebrew University MDP Program combines classroom learning at Hebrew University, proprietary case studies, field work and access to Israeli scientific and technological expertise and the wide network of the entrepreneurial and financial ecosystem focused on international development.  The program’s mix of academic rigor, practical training, and sustained alumni engagement will help create a network of development practitioners and policymakers equipped with the analytical tools and real-world experience to meet SDGs.

Contact us for more information:

Ms. Noa Schwarzwald, E-mail: noapl@savion.huji.ac.il , Phone: +972-8-9489996