Mara Tissera Luna

Trusted by these organizations...

I’m also a member of the following professional networks and associations:


Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action


American Evaluation Association


Latin American Studies Association


Sexual Violence Research Initiative


Latin American Council of Social Sciences


Society for International Development, United States

Core strenghts

1. Focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

My main strength is my expertise, including contextual knowledge, lived experience, languages (Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese), and a strong network in Latin America.

2. Protect populations with vulnerabilities

In my work, I focus only on the protection of populations with multiple vulnerabilities, such as children, women, refugees and other migrants with multiple vulnerabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and survivors of GBV, while respecting their agency, individual and collective resilience and resourcefulness.

3. Enable collaboration and meaningful participation

I believe in the importance of leadership by local organizations in participatory processes, especially collaboration between large NGOs and INGOs with the communities they intend to benefit and when it comes to knowledge creation processes and high-level decision-making.

4. Develop practical solutions to complex social justice issues

I am committed to providing critical analyses from a social justice, equality, and decolonization approach. I understand and apply an intersectional feminist approach, acknowledging and addressing the interconnected systems of oppression affecting populations in the Americas.

Needs assessments and contextual analysis

Program Evaluation & Learning (the “E” and “L” in MEAL), including impact evaluations.

Building partnerships between national NGOs and global advocacy networks, UN agencies, and INGOs.

Policy & Advocacy Advisory on forced migration and protection in the Americas

Strategic planning: Assisting organizations in creating or revising their strategic plans, incorporating a social justice, intersectional, and decolonial approach.

Technical Writing: Drafting advocacy papers, policy papers, handbooks, and reports.

Applied Qualitative Research. This includes all research steps, such as creating the research design, facilitating participatory consultations, conducting remote and in-country interviews and focus groups, conducting qualitative surveys, interpreting and analyzing data, producing reports, etc.


“Mara is one of the most generous and collaborative spirits on the map!”

Gillian Huebner – Director, Collaborative on Global Children's Issues at Georgetown University

"Mara has an incredible capacity to move things forward – no matter the obstacles or the slim chance of success. During the two years in which we worked together, she showed me the importance of going for unusual and difficultly achievable objectives beyond one’s comfort zone as well as that of always dedicating time to retrospectively analyze what went well and what went wrong in a project, regardless of how busy your calendar may be. Her dedication to human rights is only surpassed by her firm commitment to finding creative solutions instead of going with the flow."

Gábor Gyulai - Hungarian Helsinki Committee (Organisational Development Director, Training Expert)

“Mara helped us secure funding from the European Commission for a project to prevent violence and protect children in Aruba and Curaçao. Without Mara's expertise, clear guidance, and EU project writing skills, it just would not have been possible to secure this funding.”

UNICEF National Committee staff

“We are immensely grateful to international researcher Mara Tissera Luna for her stellar work writing and researching this groundbreaking report for us.”

Kathleen Russell – Executive Director, Center for Judicial Excellence

"Mara is a talented researcher. Her work was considered highly supportive, well-executed, and of high quality. She maintained a high level of professionalism during the documentation process, including organizing key respondent interviews and focus groups. She has strong written and presentation skills. She showed that she is adept at innovating and using technology to enhance the communication of complex information. She quickly integrated with the UNICEF team in Kazakhstan."

Fiachra McAsey – Former Deputy Representative UNICEF Kazakhstan

"I know her since she started working for Relaf, the Latin American Foster Care Network as a student. Ever since she showed creativity in developing ways to develop the network further and engaging with children and youth to incorporate their voices, she operated at a worldwide platform and represented the network in global meetings advocating for Latin America to be heard."

Bep Van Sloten – International Alternative Care Consultant and Trainer

"Mara graduated in June 2017 from the two-year Master of Public Administration program at CEU in Budapest. Within this program, Mara came across as one of the most well-rounded talents of the cohort, since she combined sound professional skills with academic knowledge and curiosity. In addition to her academic achievements, I would like to highlight that Mara comes across as very dedicated to both learning and real-world impact."

Doctor Sara Svensson – Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy, Central European University

"For one and a half years, I directed Mara in the elaboration of her dissertation research, which resulted in a high-quality piece of research. She proved to be highly independent and diligent, and she tackled the research process with a high level of maturity, discipline, and critical thinking."

Dr., Prof., Carla Villalta  Buenos Aires University, Argentina

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