Exit Strategy for Regional Technical Offices
Regional Technical Offices (RTOs) were established by UN-Habitat in 2007 in order to empower unions of municipalities (UoMs) in emergency responses, planning, and development, and specifically to support reconstruction and development in Lebanon. RTOs were established under the framework of Article 122 of Legislative Decree no. 118/1977, which states that “the engineering unit in the Union shall be in charge of certain tasks on behalf of member municipalities, including: assisting in the approval of applications for construction permits, preparing any required technical studies and consultations, preparing the specifications of the supplies, works and services, and developing plans.”
The aim of the RTO is to guide the union to move from emergency response to recovery planning by providing technical and engineering assistance in municipal projects, as well as by supporting decision-making processes, enhancing service delivery, and addressing governance issues at the regional level.
The purpose of the Exit Strategy is to handover RTOs to their respective municipality or union. An Exit Strategy is proposed to ensure that core capabilities and structures are in place for the RTOs to fulfil their mandate in an autonomous and self-sustaining fashion within the administration of the local authority to which they belong. With the Standard Operating Manual (SOM) and the Capacity Development (CD) Strategy, the Exit Strategy constitutes the last piece of the RTO sustainability toolkit. The Exit Strategy is not limited to the phase during which the development partner supporting the RTO gradually withdraws following the achievement of a programmatic objective. It rather consists of a comprehensive transition framework that describes the entire process of creating and maintaining fully functional RTOs, from end-to-end. As such, this is a document that outlines what local authorities and their partners should aim to achieve during an agreed timeframe, and what support local authorities will need, in order to establish and sustain successful RTOs. This framework is detailed in the “Exit Strategy & Transition/Handover Framework for RTOs”, which is annexed to this publication.