Oxford University launches world’s first COVID-19 government response tracker

25 March 2020

The tracker records and compares governmental measures in response to the coronavirus worldwide

The first ever tool to track and compare policy responses of governments tackling the coronavirus outbreak around the world has been launched by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government today.

The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker is available online at www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/covidtracker; it is freely available and will continue to be updated throughout the crisis. The tracker launches with data from 73 countries so far, including China, South Korea, Italy, UK, Canada and USA. 

The Government Response Tracker systematically records government responses worldwide and aggregates the scores into a common Stringency Index. The index allows users to explore the variation in government responses. This information can help researchers understand whether increasingly strict measures affect the rate of infection, and identify what causes governments to implement stricter or less strict measures. 

The coronavirus outbreak has forced governments to put in place policies to contain the spread of the disease among their population. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker collects publicly available information on 11 indicators (S1-11) of government response:

  1. school closure;
  2. workplace closures;
  3. public event cancellation;
  4. public transport closure;
  5. public information campaigns;
  6. restriction on internal movement;
  7. international travel controls;
  8. fiscal measures;
  9. monetary measures;
  10. emergency investment in healthcare;
  11. investment in vaccines.

Thomas Hale, Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and lead for this project, said: “Our index cannot, of course, tell the full story, but we believe the data we have collected can help decision makers and public health professionals examine the robustness of government responses and provide a first step into understanding exactly what measures have been effective in certain contexts, and why.” 

The data is collected from publicly available information by a cross-disciplinary Oxford University team of academics and students from every part of the world.

Government responses vary significantly from one country to another, and like any policy interventions, their effect is highly contingent on local political and social context. The COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, like all aggregate indices which combine different indicators into a general index, should not be interpreted as measuring the appropriateness or effectiveness of a country’s response.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Giulia Biasibetti, Blavatnik School of Government | giulia.biasibetti@bsg.ox.ac.uk |+44(0)1865 616733

Notes to editors

The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker collects publicly available information on 11 indicators (S1-11) of government response. S1-S7 are recorded on an ordinal scale; S8-S11 are financial indicators. S1-S6 are further classified as either “targeted” (meaning they apply only in a geographically concentrated area) or “general” (meaning they apply throughout the entire jurisdiction). More information on the methodology is available on the project page on the Blavatnik School website www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/covidtracker

With the rapidly evolving situation, the data collection is live and ongoing. The project team welcomes specific feedback on both country data and analysis. Please visit the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker project page on the Blavatnik School website www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/covidtracker to fill in a feedback form.

About the Blavatnik School of Government
The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford exists to inspire and support better government and public policy around the world. The Blavatnik School teaches current and future public leaders through innovative programmes, conducts independent, evidence-based research into pressing issues facing policymakers – from improving education to reducing corruption – and convenes leaders and experts across disciplines and sectors to share knowledge, exchange ideas and identify solutions. www.bsg.ox.ac.uk

About Oxford University
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the third year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation. Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
Find out more about Oxford's coronavirus research at http://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus-research