Standard Operating Manual for Regional Technical Offices
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Standard Operating Manual 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 Standard Operating Manual (SOM) presents the key functions, processes, and procedures related to the status and day-to-day work of Regional Technical Offices (RTOs) in Lebanon. The objective of the SOM is to provide a unified framework for the establishment and further development of the RTOs in Lebanon based on good governance standards and the legal and regulatory provisions in force. The SOM is part of a larger toolkit comprising also a Capacity Development Strategy and an Exit Strategy, all of which aim to ensure that existing RTOs and future ones have optimal institutional capacity, and that local authorities hosting them can sustain and develop them.