Regional Technical Offices (RTOs) were established by UN-Habitat in 2007 with the aim to empower Unions of Municipalities (UoMs) in emergency response, planning, and development, and specifically to support reconstruction and development in Lebanon. RTOs consist of qualified staff including engineers, architects, social workers, GIS experts and others; depending on needs 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 UoM to develop and implement emergency, recovery, and development 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.

Impact of the project

At least 25 local experts (25% females) have been recruited as RTO staff

The establishment of RTOs has provided job opportunities to local professionals (engineers, social workers, surveyors) 

More than 100 projects worth of 10 million $ plus were prepared by RTOS and funded through different aid agencies

RTOs staff have worked closely with tens of municipalities and prepared priority projects that were funded and implemented with support from Aid agencies

99 persons from municipalities, UoMs, and youth attended the project launch event

Data was collected through attendance and registrations sheet from the events during May and June 2020

59 persons of Municipal Council members and civil society actors are attending the Mediation Units training

Data was collected through attendance sheets from December 2020 till April 2021 by the field coordinators (Please note the training are still ongoing).

21 persons from development agencies and other partners attended the online discussion on the findings of the assessment of the Regional Technical Offices

Data was collected through online attendance registrations from the event on 17 March 2021

83 persons from development agencies and other partners attended the online discussion on the national policy event and report launching of the Directorate General of Local Administrations and Councils

Data was collected through online attendance registrations from the event on 26 April 2021


Name of the partner

Link to the partner’s website

Partner category

European Union (MADAD FUND)

Funding partner

United Nations Development Programme

Implementing partner

Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities


Directorate General of Local Administrations and Councils



Union of Tyre Municipality


Urban Community Al-Fayhaa



Federation of Municipalities of the Northern and Coastal Matn



Municipality of Zurich







Mr. Mardig Boghossian

Mayor of Bourj Hammoud Municipality.

"Administrative, legal and financial obstacles are preventing the municipalities from keeping pace with the development of municipal work in terms of human energies and technical resources. This RTO office provided the municipality with the necessary qualifications and equipment, it contributed to keeping pace with various initiatives and projects from the study phase to the design and monitoring until its implementation.”

Eng. Hassan Dbouk

Head of the Union of Tyre Municipalities

 “Without the support of the RTO, the work of the UoM and its member municipalities would have been difficult to achieve, and even impossible in some cases. Based on my experience with the RTO and as the president of the union, I would like to call on all UoMs in Lebanon to establish an RTO in their regions by coordinating with UN-Habitat. I have no doubt that within a short period of time, they will understand the importance and necessity of having such a skilled team. The RTO will allow them to provide development services in an easier, faster, effective, and more economical manner to meet the needs of the people and the society.”

Mrs. Faten Abou Hassan

Director General, Directorate of Local Administrations and Councils.

“Lebanese municipalities and unions of municipalities are a solid core in the local and regional development process. It has become necessary for local authorities to have Regional Technical Offices (RTOs) that provide the needed technical expertise and play a leading role in formulating plans, preparing projects, and submitting proposals.”

Related publications

Project manager

Name: Taina Christiansen

Unit/Branch/Office: UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme



This documentary is the RTO memoir and include a summary about the establishment of RTOs, role, functions and highlighting Tyre and Bourj

This is a short video including testimonies from various partners

This is a short video including testimonies from various partners

More information about the project

The RTO’s mission is to be the catalyst for effective local governance and, in the long term, to pave the way for administrative decentralization in Lebanon. The RTO offices empower Lebanese local authorities to plan and deliver high quality inclusive public services and to achieve sustainable developmental outcomes. Their mission also consists in activating accountability and inclusive participatory mechanisms in municipal work. They operate in close coordination with the local community and beneficiary groups that the local authorities serve, and facilitate communication between local authorities and donors, aid agencies and development organizations. The vision that defines the RTO model is a citizen-centric local governance that is attuned to the needs of local communities, that works hand-in-hand with civil society actors and development partners, and that provides public services in a democratic and transparent manner that are effective, accessible, and inclusive.