January 1998 marked the founding of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development. NISPED is a registered non-profit association and an affiliate of the Negev College, one of Israel’s major regional higher education institutions, where it enjoys full academic and administrative independence. Certificates of the college are awarded to participants who successfully complete programs of study of the Institute.
NISPED was established with a view to promoting peace and development focused on the centrality of the civil society: the voluntary, people-centered, non-governmental groups and organizations who seek to work with each other on the issues of conflict-resolution and the advance of sustainable human development. It is clear that unless people perceive a growing satisfaction of their basic human needs, there can be no durable peace.NISPED serves as a center for education, training and project development in regard to societies undergoing fundamental processes of transformation. These processes include transition from conflict to conflict resolution; from the rigidities of centralized economies and political dictatorships to democracy and free market economies; from poverty and dependence to selfhood and socio-economic advance. To these ends, NISPED conducts activities in the following areas:

Training: NISPED conducts courses, seminars, and workshops for leaders, activists and trainers drawn from relevant civil society and governmental bodies.
Projects: It engages in the initiation, planning, guidance and evaluation of concrete projects within the focus of its interests, both in its close geographical area and further afield.
Consultancy: It offers consultancy services to public and private institutions in Israel and abroad. It also acts as a facilitator in networking between groups with similar interests and agendas.
Small and Medium Enterprises: Recognizing the importance of SMEs in its area of concern, NISPED has formed the International Center for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (INCEP-SME) which provides relevant training, teaching, project promotion and consultancy services in this field.
Jewish-Arab Coexistence: It is clear that for democracy to flourish in Israel, it is imperative that all citizens enjoy full and equal rights. To this end, NISPED established the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation. The goals of AJEEC are three-fold: striving for equality in all aspects of life; empowerment of the Palestinian-Israeli community; cooperation between the Jewish and Arab populations. AJEEC is developing programs in the field of education, leadership and employment for various sectors of both communities.
Cooperative Studies:In September 2000 NISPED established a new division, the International Center for Cooperative Studies (ICeCoS). The center will conduct education and training programs focussing on the promotion and development of cooperatives, of people-centered enterprises and of similar endeavors. It will also initiate and develop projects and will offer consultancy services in these areas.



The Oslo agreement of September 1993 was a landmark in the process of resolution of the decades-long history of war, bloodshed and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Since that breakthrough the political peace process has known frequent ups and downs. These developments lend additional weight to the understanding that political/governmental agreements, however carefully crafted or effectively underwritten by major powers or international agencies, cannot by themselves serve to create or guarantee peace. This requires, in addition, the development of a people-to-people peace process in which the active involvement of the civil society promotes mutual understanding and furthers joint endeavor. This insightful generalization acquires particular significance when the political process momentarily falters.During its first three years of existence, NISPED conducted some 25 programs jointly with Palestinian partners. NISPED policy is to work together with Palestinian NGOs in developing programs benefiting their constituents. More than 700 Palestinians, drawn from a large number of NGOs, participated in the various programs, each of which was held partly in Israel and partly in the Palestinian Authority.Some of the themes of the courses held together with NISPED’s Palestinian partners included:

The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution.
The Role of Voluntary Organizations in the Peace Process.
The Contribution of Voluntary Organizations to Local Government
Young Leadership in NGOs.
The Role of Small and Medium Enterprises in Economies in Transition.
Support Systems for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Human Resource Development.
Women’s Leadership and Empowerment.
The Promotion of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses.
Challenges in Environment Protection
Leadership Development for Youth and Community Workers

All of NISPED’s courses for Palestinians are taught in Arabic. Among the lecturers of sessions taught in Israel are Israeli Arabs who are leading organizational consultants and community organizers. Local lecturers prominent in their field teach the sessions held in Gaza or the West Bank. The courses are designed jointly by the NISPED staff and Palestinian counterparts.

NISPED was asked by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Jordan to conduct a pilot course for senior officials on Structuring Comprehensive Support Systems for Small and Medium Enterprises. The course was coordinated in Jordan by JEDCO, the Jordanian Export Development and Commercial Centers Corporation.



NISPED works with societies in transition throughout the world. While its most immediate concern is with conflict resolution in its own region, it also focuses on this and other major social changes in countries around the world. The international program is a central and growing element in NISPED’s activity. To this end, programs were held for groups from many countries on a number of topics:

Cyprus: Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution in Cyprus. This course was held with both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot participants.
Romania: Training senior government officials on the subject of pension funds
Ex-Soviet Union: Cooperatives
Small Business in a Changing Economy
Role of SMEs in Economies in Transition
Mexico: Entrepreneurship.
Brazil: Cooperative Enterprises for Rural Development
Small and Medium Enterprises in Rural Development
Integrative Community Development
South Africa: Structuring Comprehensive Support Systems for SMEs
International: Educating for Peace
Building Peace: Role of Youth and Student Movements in Conflict Resolution
SMEs and National Development; Financing of SMEs – in cooperation with the World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) .



NISPED is an affiliate of the Negev College, the largest regional college in Israel where it enjoys full academic and administrative independence.NISPED works in partnership with a wide range of institutions in Israel and abroad. They provide institutional, organizational and financial support for NISPED programs.From its inception, NISPED has enjoyed close ties with MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel. NISPED also works with a number of major UN agencies: ILO – International Labour Organization, UNESCO and UNIDO. Additional partners include the Peres Center for Peace, Israel-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, Negev Authority for International Relations and private foundations. The INCEP-SME division works in close partnership with WASME, World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and ISMEA, the Israel Small and Medium Enterprise Authority.



Executive Director: Vivian Silver
Chairman of INCEP-SME – International Center for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises: Shmuel Bahat
Director of AJEEC – Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation: Amal Elsana Alh’jooj
Coordinator of Wye River People-to-People Joint Israeli-Palestinian Project: Amos Davidowitz
Office Manager: Gabi Ochaion



Name Subject
Abu Algian, Ali Program and Activity Planning in Community Centers
Abu Gosh, Farid Working with Palestinian NGOs on Joint Projects; Maximizing Role of Community Centers
Abu Hani, Amar Local Municipality
Abu Saad, Mhammad The Arab Society in Israel
Abu Siam, Chamis Informal Education as a Factor in Cultivating Youth Leadership
Ahgabariah, Mohammad Project Planning; Informal Education
Al Hag’oog’, Mohammed Media & Environment
Alhozail, Dr. Amer Arab Population in Israel
Bahat, Shmuel SMEs and Support Systems
Baskin, Dr. Gershon Introduction to the Israel Palestinian Peace Process
Ben Moreh, Martin Democratic Leadership Training
Ben-Shabat, Shuki Regional Urban/Rural Small Business Development Centers
Bisk, Tzvi The Nature of Change in IT Societies
Bloch, Eyal Teaching Peace in School in a Non–Formal Setting
Bukshtein, Amiram Support to Small and Beginning Exporters
Carmel, Mike Project Planning; Cooperatives
Carthy, Zohar Women and Entrepreunership
Dadinio, David Regional Development; Rural Planning; Introduction to Cooperatives
Davidovitz, Amos The Role of Informal Education in Social Change
Dror, Dr. Moshe The Role of Myth & Symbols in Society
El Baz, Chir Interpersonal Communication; Group Dynamics
Elsana, A’bir Working in Groups
Elsana Alh’jooj, Amal Community Involvement, Project Management Social Change; Personal Empowerment; Women and Social Development
Fares, Amin Mentoring and Consulting Small Businesses
Gerstner, Uzi Business Consultancy
Kassem, Fatma Feminism in the Arab World
Kna’ana, Dr. Yasin The State of the Environment in Israel
Lovitch, Linda Methods of Communication in a Multi-Cultural Setting
Mitchnik, David Introduction to Micro-Finance Models; Project Planning; NGOs; Methods and Tools for Social Assessment and Participation
Musalam, Ramzi SMEs in Nazareth Area; SBDC in Operation
Natur Mustafa Planning Support Systems for SMEs; Developing the Arab Village in Israel.
Omari, Mai Trends in Women’s Thought in the Arab World
Omari, Mariam Muslim Family Law
Paz, Dr. Yehudah Strategies of Development; Israel-Land and People; Cooperatives in Israel and the World
Polak, Monika Women’s Leadership Training
Porat, Yehudah Financing Small Businesses
Salman Ala’sem Communities in Transition
Sbitt, Shadia Interpersonal Communication
Shibli, Nabil Community Organizing
Sternhal, Tzvika Aspects of Multi Cultural Psychology
Szir, Igal Transition from Agriculture to Trade and Industry in Rural Areas
Yona, Dr. Yossi The Jewish Society in Israel
Yuval, Nathan Support to HI-Tec Entrepreneurs
Zamir, Dr. Dov Geopolitics of the Middle-East



Name Subject
Abu Atiya, Faiz Law and Women’s Rights
Abu Elg’dian, Yusuf Financing SMEs
Abu Shamla, Mhamad Pollution from Radiation
Abu Shareb, Ibrahim Youth Activity
Al Qaq, Dr. Zakariah Introduction to the Israel-Palestinian Peace Process
Aldeen, Mohammed Zeen NGOs
Alfatach, Sahar Abid Leadership Skills
Alham, Sami Psychology of Teenagers
Ali Abu Al Ga’ian Community Centers
Alnahin, Jamal Influence of Industrial Plants on the Environment
Barhish, Amin Evaluating Programs
Chalifa, Mahmoud Communication
Fadili, Raid Nature Protection
Gamal Al Nabahin The Influence of Projects on the Environment
Isaac, Dr. Jad Historical and Geographical Vies of Palestine
Kamal, Zahera Empowerment of Women in Palestinian Society
Kari, Doa’a Principals of Informal Education
Kassem, Nasser Structure of Local Municipality
Kilani, Dr. Sami Different Forms of Leadership; Inclusion and Empowerment of Youth in the Society
Kudeich, Ja’abar Leadership Skills for Women; Project Planning
Reduan, Rim Project Design
Safi, Mahir SMEs; Project Development; Management Skills
Safi, Wayil Environment Issues
Saher Abd Al Fatah Leadership Skills
Said, Dr. Mhamad The State of the Environment in Palestine
Salach, Nazak Women’s Role in Humanitarian Development; Educating Towards Democracy
Salah, Rafa’t The Future of the Peace Process
Salem, Walid Institutional Structure of NGOs in Palestine; Educating Towards Democracy; Youth and Civil Society
Salman Ala’sem Communities in Transition
Salman, Dr. Hind Small Businesses in Palestine; Women and SMEs
Shaad Nemer Promotion of Palestinian Youth Organizations
Shafik Abu Hani The Role of Local Municipality in Project Development
Sroor, Mohammed Importance of Environment
Tamari, Dr. Salim Cultural and Civil Aspects of Palestine
Zagout, Nual Role of Women’s Organizations in Developing Palestinian Society



Dr. Yehudah Paz, Chairman
Avri D’vir, Economic Director, Kibbutz Artzi Movement, Member of the Executive Committee
Igal Szir, Ben Gurion University of the Negev – Department of Donor and Associates Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee
Vivian Silver, Executive Director, NISPED.
Shmuel Bahat, Founder and First Chairman of the Israel Small Business Authority; Economic and Strategic Consultant
Dr. Nachmi Paz, General Director, Negev College
Professor Zeev Tzahor, President, Negev College
Amos Davidowitz, Representative of Institute of World Affairs
David Leviatan, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hamashbir L’tzarhan; Former Director-General of Tel Aviv University and Hevrat Ha’ovdim-Histadrut
Amal Elsana Alh’jooj, Director AJEEC – Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation
Dolly Gerassi, Coordinator, International Relations, Israel Small and Medium Enterprise Authority