There are a lot of interesting things going on with policy surveillance. That’s the term for the systematic, scientific collection and analysis of laws of public health significance. I want to share two in particular with Bill of Health readers.
On June 9-10, the Policy Surveillance Program at Temple University will be hosting its first policy surveillance Summer Institute. We’ve been tasked by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with increasing the use of policy surveillance and legal mapping, a process encouraged by the IOM that can promote morerapid diffusion of recommended policies and promising innovations. Historically, the impulse to track law is an old one, but the process for systematically and scientifically collect, code and publish that data is relatively new. It’s essential, though, to the continued integration of public health law practice and legal epidemiology to improve health and well-being (Read more about the transdisciplinary approach to public health law here).
The Summer Institute will teach participants policy surveillance and legal mapping techniques while providing hands-on lab training with software tools such as the LawAtlas Workbench. Participants will have the opportunity to network with other law and policy professionals as well as engage with Policy Surveillance Program staff during the Institute and for follow-up. Learn more and register here.
Another thing: the Policy Surveillance Program at Temple University is working with the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA and the CDC Public Health Law Program to organize a meeting of policy surveillance practitioners. The aims are to convene individuals who are currently engaged in some form of sophisticated legal mapping to define the functions of surveillance; to share methods, tools and visions for the future of the field; and to lay the ground work for one or more subsequent meetings aimed at developing a strategy for creating the institutional supports needed to expand and sustain the practice of policy surveillance. This first meeting will be in Atlanta and will be a pay-your-own way affair. If you are interested in attending, feel free to contact me.