Oxford COVID-19 policy ‘Supertracker’ wins international backing

27 July 2020

The Oxford COVID-19 ‘Supertracker’, launched today, is a ‘precious compass to help policy-makers' around the world, according to leading international institutions.

Numerous organisations have produced trackers to allow policy-makers and stakeholders to follow and evaluate policy changes and their impact on the pandemic in the UK, Europe and across the world. The Oxford ‘Supertracker’ project makes this information freely available with one tool, allowing users to search and identify international policy.

Sebastian Königs and Andrea Garnero, Economists at The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) say, ‘The team behind the Oxford Supertracker have done an impressive job in assembling the rapidly growing data on countries’ COVID responses and in making them readily available and easily searchable. This is an enormous service to the research and policy community, including many here at the OECD.’

Meanwhile, Ugo Gentilini, Global Lead for Social Assistance at the World Bank, says, ‘The Oxford Supertracker offers a precious compass to help policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to navigate the rich and evolving set of trackers available globally.’

Marek Naczyk, Oxford Associate Professor in Comparative Social Policy and project lead, says, ‘As social scientists and concerned citizens, we felt compelled to work on this tool to ensure policy-makers and the public can access information on policy measures in the wake of COVID-19. We have been encouraged by the interest to date from many international organisations, including OECD and the World Bank, highlighting how the Department of Social Policy’s interdisciplinary background is well placed for the continued development of the tool. Our ambition is for the Oxford ‘Supertracker’ to be the go-to portal sharing all known policy-related data sources in one place.’

The COVID-19 policy tracker started in March as a Twitter thread by Oxford DPhil student Lukas Lehner. But it has evolved into the Supertracker, a comprehensive global directory of more than 100 data sources.

Compiling policy trackers and surveys, the Supertracker allows users to search by: 

  • Policy area – such as ‘education’ or ‘social and economic’
  • Country coverage
  • Data format, and
  • Author.

Thousands of researchers from more than 100 countries around the globe visited the first iteration of the tracker on the Social Policy department’s website. It is designed to assist researchers and policy-makers in keeping track of a rapidly growing number of data sources.

It will be updated with input from policy-makers, researchers and users, to identify symmetries and gaps in existing trackers and propose concrete actions to address these. 

These will be particularly relevant to the social policy and and economic inequality prevention measures, that are put in place as lockdown policies ease. 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 
Lukas Lehner | lukas.lehner@spi.ox.ac.uk or news.office@admin.ox.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  • The data summary can be downloaded as a CSV for offline analysis
  • Citations: Daly, M., Ebbinghaus, B., Lehner, L., Naczyk, M., Vlandas, T. (2020). Oxford Supertracker: The Global Directory for COVID Policy Trackers and Surveys, Department of Social Policy and Intervention.
  • More than 50 contributors are involved in this project. If you have any suggestions for improvement, or maintain or know of an additional dataset please contact us
  • For a full list of contributors, please refer to the project website.
  • This research is funded by the Economic, Social, Cultural & Environmental Impacts of COVID-19: Urgent Response Fund funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and the Oxford ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA).

About the Department of Social Policy and Intervention 
The Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for research and teaching in social policy and the development and systematic evaluation of social interventions. We are the top-ranked Social Policy department in the UK, and third globally.

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