Heart and Soul
These values guide TerraLuna Collaborative.
Civil rights, human rights, and human dignity develop remedies to historical and systemic inequities.
We work within non-discriminatory and accessible systems which account for the unique needs and obstacles of individuals and communities.
All people share the same basic desires: to have their basic needs met; to love and be loved; to see and be seen; to have and realize their dreams; to hear and be heard; and to find belonging and purpose in communities.
Inclusive and Responsive Collaboration
Inclusive and responsive strategies elevate fresh insights, diverse perspectives, and marginalized voices.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Evaluation is a continuous process of self-discovery, reflection, and inquiry which finds solutions by lifting up marginalized voices, employing effective methods, and recognizing specific lived experiences.
How We Show Up
Our consultants live out our values with each other, our own communities, and with our clients.
Navigate Systems Change
We will help you navigate every element of evaluation and systems change in the spheres of education, arts and culture, community and economic development, human services, health care, children and family services, and the environment.
We promote your efforts by examining your program resources, assets, and needs, identifying unrecognized gaps, and then helping you implement informed strategies to achieve your goals.
We embrace the challenge of working in non-linear, emergent, and dynamic spaces. We find creative ways to help you use evaluation to support learning for impact.
We co-create with you to find ways to share and solidify your results through written briefs, community meetings, artwork, videos, interactive graphs, and informal narratives designed to engage stakeholders and participants in productive collaboration.
We work collaboratively with you to ensure the process and outcomes of evaluation are useful and used.
Values and Evidence-based Judgements
We work with you to make judgements about programs, strategies, and change efforts informed both by evidence and by the values you bring to your work.
Areas of Specialized Expertise
We are proud of the team we have built. Our team members have diverse lived experiences and varied skills sets, but we are united by an overarching commitment to our values.
We believe that all evaluations should developed for a specific use by specific users (Patton, 2008 and 2011). Our team will include the users of the evaluation in every step of the process, from developing questions, to selecting methods, to identifying how and when to communicate findings, to increase the likelihood that the evaluation will be both useful and used.
A Realist Perspective
The TerraLuna evaluation team strives to engage clients and partners in a theory-driven approach to evaluation, couched in realist philosophical underpinnings, with specific attention to nuance and context. We live the argument that in order to be useful for decision makers, evaluations need to identify ‘what works in which circumstances and for whom?’, rather than merely ‘does it work? (Pawson and Tilley, 1997). To this end, our evaluations lend themselves to answering questions like, What works?, for whom?, in what respects?, to what extent?, in what contexts?, and how? As a result, our evaluations purposefully explore local complexity and unassumed variables, the unpredictability of systemic implementation, and a 360-degree view of systems.
Evaluation Capacity Building
Our team will train your staff in data collection, analysis, and reporting. Our team can also develop evaluative training and programs tailored to produce results for your organization.
Developmental evaluation (DE) informs and supports innovative and adaptive development or programs, projects, strategies and initiatives in complex dynamic environments. DE brings to innovation and adaptation the processes of asking evaluative questions, applying evaluation logic, and gathering and reporting evaluative data to support project, program, product, and organizational development with timely feedback. At TerraLuna, we have managed DE work ranging in size from a local program to global systems change effort, and in areas including education, juvenile justice, and social change.
The arts are humanity’s developmental evaluation. Arts-Based Evaluation (ABE) collects, analyzes, and reports data through artistic methods. Examples of ABE methods include photovoice, the visual matrix, verbatim theatre, and gesture harvesting. Coupled with applied neuroaesthetics, Arts-Based Evaluation creates ongoing and dynamic emotional connections to data, inspiring positive change.
Principles provide guidance and direction for collaboration and systems change. Principles provide a framework for how people and organizations engage, interact and make decisions in the pursuit of change. Principles provide the anchor for the evaluative inquiry and change process. Organizations collaborating for large-scale systems change in complex social issues such as economic inequality, public safety, health, and education often benefit from principles-focused evaluation.
Evaluation in the Education Sector
TerraLuna Collaborative frequently focuses on young people in school settings. We have worked with urban school districts and parochial schools striving to close the achievement gap, state-wide educational initiatives focused on student learning and educator professional development, and with educational partners in Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Louisiana, and Missouri. For example, we have engaged with the Minnesota Humanities Center as they implemented a multi-year initiative in Omaha Public Schools. Our role in this work has led to the creation of a theory of change, guiding principles, an evaluation plan, data collection instruments, an Evaluation Advisory Committee, and the development of a new focus on arts-based evaluation in Omaha, for example.
Who We’ve Worked With
The Wellbeing Project
Global collaboration with Fetzer in support of social entrepreneurs.
America Reads Mississippi
Supporting literacy and teacher development.
The Minnesota Humanities Center’s Education Strategy in Partnership with Omaha Public Schools
A multi-year collaboration to close the achievement gap in Omaha Public Schools.
Operation Youth Success
Systemic evaluation of juvenile justice in Douglas County, NE
Who We Are
Solving our communities’ greatest challenges requires new ways of thinking, acting, and partnering. Therefore, we organized TerraLuna as a cooperative. This structure aligns our work with recognized, cooperative principles, including democratic control, autonomy and independence, concern for community, and education. Read more about the cooperative model here.
After years of working individually, the members of TerraLuna Collaborative came together to form a cooperative evaluation firm committed to partnering with clients for social change. TerraLuna members are experts from a variety of fields, including evaluation, statistics, creative writing, public policy, and public health. We share our vision and possess skill sets and professional backgrounds essential to planning and conducting high-quality evaluations.
Quality of Work, Quality of Work Environment, Quality of Life
The cooperative model creates a workplace where team members enjoy working together. TerraLuna colleagues find our interactions positive and energizing. We assume the best of our colleagues, work from our deepest intentions, and resist crisis thinking. Giving employees autonomy and flexibility, paying well, and working in teams creates a positive work-life balance, vital to long-term project sustainability.
We have Board Members, Members, Employees, and Consultants. Members are the people who co-own TerraLuna–responsible for what TerraLuna is and what it becomes. Board Members have the ultimate fiscal responsibility for TerraLuna, meeting monthly to make strategic decisions about TerraLuna’s growth. All Board Members are elected from the general membership. Employees spend the majority of their professional life working for TerraLuna and are truly a part of our family. Consultants allow people to flex in and out of projects, matching their unique talents and abilities to current project needs. We consider consultants our partners in collaboration and many consultants work with us over multiple projects.
What We’re Up To
I never read comic books as a kid. I fell in love with them as a grown man in 2004 when McSweeney’s published the 13th issue of their quarterly, which was “an assorted sampler of North American comic drawings, strips, and illustrated stories.” I spent hours and hours immersed in comics for the first time in my life. The comics artists featured in the issue were grappling with the questions and quagmires of existence, big and small. Kim Deitch got to know a death row inmate, was present at his execution, and told the story in his 6-page comic, “Ready to Die.”read more
I had the opportunity to meet Nora F. Murphy (TerraLuna co-founder) for the first time in the fall of 2015. At the time, I was a senior at The University of Alabama double majoring in English and African American Studies. That semester, I chose to take a timely and...read more
TerraLuna Collaborative formed in early 2013 around the founding members' dining room tables, on front porches, and in coffee shops. We didn’t know if what we were building would work, but we each had a vision for the kind of work we wanted to do, the kind of people...read more