Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool (FACT)

March 14, 2019 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby

A collaborative approach to the development of organizational policies and position papers through consultation with members, stakeholders, and experts.

Problems and Purpose

The Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool (FACT) combines the knowledge of farmers and farmer organizations together with expert advice to generate policies and position statements that are accountable, evidence-based, relevant to current issues, and technically-feasible. Through dialogue between farmers’ organizations, their constituents, and policy experts, FACT ensures all policy positions or statements respond to and reflect the reality of members’ needs.[1]  

Origins and Development

FACT was developed by Agriterra, a Dutch advocacy and consultancy group working with farmers and farmers organizations around the world.[2] It is unclear when the FACT technique was developed, but it has been used in Bolivia by the Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets (ESFIM) program,[3] in Uganda by the Uganda National Farmers Federation,[4] in Vietnam by the Viet Nam Farmer’s Union,[5] and in various parts of Africa.[6]

How it Works

The FACT approach contains four components: consultations, participatory research, writing SMART proposals, and stakeholder mapping and analysis for lobby and advocacy. Workshops using the FACT approach are guided by a reader, containing the basics of the process, two facilitators guides, and two participants workbooks (1 + 2).[7] 

According to the tool’s developers, Agrittera, “while the success of any proposal is never guaranteed, the FACT approach certainly increases the possibility of success. Members' information is obtained through a systematic consultation process that enables the farmers not only to 'know' what the relevant issues and information are, but also to 'show that it knows'. This means that any position paper or proposal based on the FACT method remains accountable to those that it represents and is credible for decision makers. If members feel that their organisation is genuinely concerned about consulting them, their feeling of 'ownership' of the position papers and proposals is enhanced.”[8]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

In a report for the Capitalization of Experience for Greater Impact in Rural Development program, Prudence Ayebare of the Uganda National Farmers’ Federation (UNFF) reflects on their use of the FACT tool: “UNFFE was not sure if district local government officials would support this [young farmers] initiative [but n]ow we see that the FACT approach can be used effectively to lobby government and other stakeholders for service provision. There is power in number, especially when engaging in advocacy-related issues. It was a great experience to interact with evidence-based research and use it to engage policy makers.”[9] 

See Also

The Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets (ESFIM) Program in Bolivia 


[1] Christian Gouet, “Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool -FACT-,” 2013,

[2] “Discover Agriterra,” Agriterra,

[3] Giel Ton, Christian Gouët and Ninoska Gonzalez, “CIOEC-Bolivia: successful advocacy for legal recognition,” in Empowering smallholder farmers in markets: Experiences with farmer-led research for advocacy, ed. Giel Ton and Felicity Proctor (Wageningen: CTA-AGRINATURA-LEI, 2013), 34. Available at

[4] Prudence Ayebare, “Overcoming the Challenge of Land Access for Young Farmers,” in Learning from farmer organisations (Wageninge, the Netherlands: Capitalization of Experience for Greater Impact in Rural Development, 2018), 45. Available at

[5] “Achieving advocacy results in 10 Vietnamese provinces: Piloting FACT,” April 1, 2015, 

[6] “Launch of unique multi-country programme,” Trias, March 6, 2013,

[7] Gouet, “Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool -FACT-,” 

[8] Gouet, “Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool -FACT-,” 

[9] Ayebare, “Overcoming the Challenge of Land Access for Young Farmers,” 47. 

External Links


FACT Community:


Lead image: Uganda National Farmers Federation,