Policy Surveillance Institute 2024

August 1-2, 2024 / Philadelphia, PA 

The Center for Public Health Law Research's 2024 Policy Surveillance Institute will teach scientific legal mapping methods during a two-day intensive training seminar. Policy surveillance tracks public health laws and policies over time and across jurisdictions, using a rigorous scientific process to create data for evaluation and empirical research. 

The Policy Surveillance Institute is intended for individuals interested in studying policies and law once they are enacted, and exploring variation in policy across jurisdictions and over time. Participants will learn each step in the policy surveillance process with live training from experts from the Center for Public Health Law Research on policy surveillance software and through collaborative exercises.


When: August 1-2, 2024

Where: In person, Temple University Center City Campus (see travel guidance below)

Review preliminary agenda

Learning Objectives 

Institute participants will:

  • Develop a deep understanding of legal epidemiology, also known as public health law research. 
  • Learn how to conduct policy surveillance, a methodology to carry out legal epidemiology. This includes:
    • Learning how to efficiently track and analyze policies across jurisdictions;
    • Engaging in each step of the policy surveillance process to create an empirical legal dataset.
  • Learn the potential for using legal data for evaluation.
  • Networking with other policy professionals, including local department of health officials, government agency employees, advocates, and researchers in academia.
  • Learn the primary steps in conceptualizing a policy rating project using legal mapping data.
  • Discuss strategies for dissemination, including potential audiences and outlets. 

Advanced track participants will also learn dataset management techniques to lead a policy surveillance project from start to finish.  

*The Policy Surveillance Institute will not focus on tracking bills as they move through the legislative process.  

Who Should Attend? 

The Policy Surveillance Institute is intended for individuals interested in tracking policies and law once they are enacted, and exploring variation across jurisdictions and over time. Participants may be, but are not limited to, law and public health professionals and students:  

  • Lawyers  
  • Faculty  
  • Researchers  
  • Government agents  
  • Public health practitioners
  • Advocates
  • Law students
  • Policy and public health graduate students  

What is the Difference between the Introductory and Advanced Tracks?  

The Policy Surveillance Institute has two concurrent tracks: the introductory track and the advanced track. Both tracks are open to students and professionals. All attendees will also have the opportunity to join an optional session before the Institute introducing basic legal research methods.   

  • The introductory track is appropriate for individuals who have limited to no knowledge of policy surveillance and scientific legal mapping techniques. This track will use hands-on exercises to introduce the full policy surveillance process, and will use pre-set examples to illustrate how to apply the process to create a cross-sectional dataset (tracking laws and policies at one point in time across jurisdictions). Upon completion, participants will be able to apply the policy surveillance process to their individual projects. The process includes the following steps:
    • Scoping
    • Background research
    • Question development
    • Collecting the law
    • Coding the law
    • Quality control
    • Publication and dissemination
    • Tracking and updating the law 
  • The advanced track is appropriate for individuals who are familiar with policy surveillance methods and who want to learn how to lead a policy surveillance project. Attendees will learn the steps necessary to create and manage a policy surveillance project, including creating a transdisciplinary team, recruiting a subject matter expert, project planning, quality control methods, and conceptualizing the project from start to finish. The advanced track will also cover longitudinal data building. Attendees for this track will benefit by coming with a project or topic in mind, as the track will also focus on providing hands-on technical assistance for project managers. Individuals enrolling in the advanced session will be asked to demonstrate their proficiency by identifying previous training, or relevant experience (e.g., attendance at a previous Policy Surveillance Institute, attendance at all parts of one of the Advanced Webinar Series, previous work on a policy surveillance project).  

Continuing Legal Education  

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit will be offered for the Policy Surveillance Institute. We offer 12 credits for the full Institute.   

There is an add-on cost of $325 at the time of registration.

Travel to Philadelphia

Temple University Center City Campus is located in the heart of Philadelphia, just a block from City Hall. TUCC is accessible via Philadelphia's extensive local public transportation system, the Philadelphia International Airport, and Amtrak. 

Temple University maintains relationships with area hotels to provide preferred rates. Please note there is no reserved room block, so these rates are based on hotel availability. Access the hotel site for Temple University

Please contact Bethany Saxon with any questions, bethany.saxon@temple.edu or 215-204-2134