Facilitation is commonly used when most of the knowledge for change resides in the community or can be easily supplemented using external specialists and knowledge resources.
A facilitator does not necessarily have technical knowledge about the issues they are facilitating. Where an extension worker will partner with a community to solve issues a facilitator will focus on helping the community come to their own decisions based on local knowledge and information gleaned from external sources.
Facilitation has been used extensively by many organisations including agriculture departments. The latter have used facilitation extensively in the Landcare program.
A facilitator does not need to be technically trained or have the same level of understanding of community networks as an extension worker so are less expensive than an extension worker to support.