The Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law will assume responsibility for maintaining the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System at PDAPS.org, developing the MonQcle software system, and supporting the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente’s CityHealth.org by updating data on their site.
This expansion is the result of a gift from Legal Science, LLC. It will broaden the library of open-access legal data resources and improve access to tools for public health law researchers, policymakers, advocates, practitioners, and others.
“We are thrilled to receive this gift from our colleagues at Legal Science,” Policy Surveillance Program Director Lindsay Cloud said. “Not only does our collection of publicly available datasets expand significantly to include crucial data on drug policy, but our Center’s capacity to build and share innovative tools in support of legal epidemiology research has grown exponentially.”
MonQcle is a software platform that is used to manage the policy surveillance process and create cross-sectional or longitudinal datasets that link text to locations. It currently powers PDAPS.org, CityHealth.org, and the Center’s flagship policy surveillance website, LawAtlas.org. MonQcle has also been used to develop pilot projects that support civic engagement, and policy research transparency.
PDAPS.org currently hosts 20 datasets that use policy surveillance to capture characteristics of laws and policies related to prescription drug use and misuse. These include medical marijuana, naloxone access, prescription drug monitoring programs, medication-assisted treatment, criminal justice-focused laws and policies related to drug use and misuse, and others. PDAPS datasets have been cited more than 60 times since its launch in 2015. The site was originally created with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
CityHealth.org uses policy surveillance created and updated by CPHLR staff and a rating tool powered by MonQcle to rank 40 of the largest US cities across nine policy domains. The site, which is an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, is popular among city lawmakers, and has influenced evidence-based policy change in the cities it ranks.
“We look forward to the new opportunities and partnerships this gift affords our Center,” Cloud said. “As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, this gift marks the beginning of a new chapter. We are excited to continue working to support the effective use of law and policy to improve health.”