Who We Are
TerraLuna Collaborative is a Minneapolis-based cooperative consulting firm specializing in evaluation, research and systems change for social justice.
Weaving connections and supporting change at the intersection of learning, arts, and social justice.
TerraLuna equips people with the skills required to create lasting, positive impact in local communities, nationally, and around the world.
We amplify voices and visions of organizations, systems, and communities that work better for people, grounding this work in what’s just, equitable, and beautiful.
We engage diverse leaders and cross-sector organizations for generative connection, reflection, collaboration, and understanding.
And we research what’s working — and not — in evaluation and social change-making.
At TerraLuna Collaborative we value social justice, social equity, being people-focused, providing inclusive and responsive evaluation, and recognizing that one size does not fit all. To that end, all of our work is undertaken with these values serving as guiding principles.
The promotion of civil rights, human rights, and recognition of human dignity are necessary to address historical and systemic inequities. We work within groups and communities to develop remedies that recognize the rights of all people.
Individuals and communities have unique needs and obstacles. We work to create non-discriminatory and accessible systems for all.
People want 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. We strive to help individuals fulfill both their needs and their aspirations.
Inclusive and Responsive Collaboration
Collaboration that can positively change systems must be inclusive and responsive. We utilize comprehensive strategies to elevate fresh insights, offer diverse perspectives, and highlight marginalized voices.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Learning and evaluation are continuous processes of self-discovery, reflection, and inquiry. We facilitate effective, useful, and context-specific learning which lifts up marginalized voices, employs effective methods, and recognizes specific lived experiences.
To learn more about TerraLuna’s structure and history >> click here
To learn more about TerraLuna’s clients and projects >> click here
How We Show Up
How we show up to our work and for each other matters as much as what we do when we get there. This section outlines the services we offer, the way we show up for our clients, our communities, and each other, and our areas of specialization.
What We Offer
We offer the following services at TerraLuna Collaborative. To learn more, contact our general email ([email protected]) or any of the team members on our team page.
Evaluation and Research: We facilitate highly collaborative and utilization-focused evaluations supporting equity and justice focused initiatives.
Training and Facilitation: We facilitate training and facilitation on what we do and how we do it: evaluation capacity building, developmental evaluation, arts-based evaluation, writing for non-academic audiences, etc.
Field Building: We contribute to the building of our intersecting fields through scholarly writing, blog posts, conference presentations and product development.
How We Show Up
We are values-driven organization. Our members, employees, and consultants live out our values with each other, our own communities, and with our clients. This impacts how we show up as evaluators, researchers, coaches, and facilitators. Each of us commits to doing the following with our clients and community partners.
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.
Think Strategically: 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.
Embrace Complexity: 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.
Communicate Effectively: 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.
Focus on Use: We work collaboratively with you to ensure the process and outcomes of evaluation are useful and used.
Make 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. Our areas of specialization are listed below. Most are followed by a link to more information including a longer description, links to blog posts or other publications on the topics, and the best people to contact at TerraLuna to learn more.
Arts-Based Evaluation: 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. Click here to read more.
Developmental Evaluation: 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. Click here to read more.
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. Click here to read more.
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. Evaluation Capacity Building is a part of every evaluation project TerraLuna leads. Click here to read more.
Principles-Focused Evaluation: 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.
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.
Utilization Focused: 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. Click here to read more.
Foundations, nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies rely on TerraLuna to help them develop sophisticated programs, conduct meaningful research, evaluate successes and facilitate change.
Our Latest Blog Posts
Many of us know that from time to time our best efforts to support programming partners through evaluation services fall a bit flat. This outcome might be the result of a number of factors, but one culprit in my partnerships has been my inability to generate the kind...read more
In your career as an evaluator, programmer, or community change leader you may have faced a question similar to one that I grappled with time and again as an evaluator using a mixed methods approach in supporting our partners. Put simply, that question has often been...read more
The Meetings and Events Intern will support the design and coordination of TerraLuna offered meetings, events, professional development, and online communications. The intern will gain experience in event planning in a variety of forms, specifically through working on organizing TerraLuna offered meetings, events, professional development, and online communications.read more
We believe that principles-focused developmental evaluations can be a powerful tool for, and partner in, social justice and systems change work. TerraLuna co-founder, Nora Murphy, authored a deeply personal chapter, “Waking Lumina: A Personal Principles-Based Evaluation Philosophy.”read more
Arts-based evaluation uses artistic techniques to collect, evaluate, and report data. My approach to ABE relies on applied neuroaesthetics, or the science of how our brains interpret and produce art. As each part of the brain controls multiple functions, seeing or...read more
What We’re Up To
Upcoming events hosted by TerraLuna or featuring TerraLuna members.