Child Policy during COVID-19 Database

Project outline


The Child Policy During COVID-19 Database provides a ‘one stop shop’ on the social policy measures adopted by 40 (mainly high-income) countries specifically to protect children and their families during the 9 months between March and December 2020.

The data collection, which has been constructed and curated by a team at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, with the support of UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight, presents the key policy features and details of measures in six fields of policy: income support, education, early education and childcare, food support, parental leave, and health-related measures.

COVID-19 challenged and tested the response capacities and policy resources of countries across the globe. The need for information and intelligence on what countries did is pressing. This is especially the case for policy on protecting children and families as there are many gaps in the existing information. This database aims to fill these gaps and enable the research and policy community to answer questions about how responsive policy was and what lessons can be learned about how to resource and protect children and their families as the world changes.

The database is intended for use by policy makers, researchers, students and others interested in what countries did to protect children and their families during the height of the pandemic, the exact measures taken and the conditions under which countries were able to respond. It will allow and enable cross-national comparisons among the 40 countries included, focusing on similarities and differences across countries, and over time and provide a framework and set of benchmarks for future development and assessments of child and family policies. 

The project was part-funded by UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight, and by the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford. The database team are Professor Mary Daly (Coordinator, University of Oxford), Dr Sunwoo Ryu (formerly Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Oxford, now at University of Bristol), Ertugrul Polat (DPhil candidate, University of Oxford), and Dr Dominic Richardson (UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight). The Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) service, at the University of Oxford, also provided consultation and help with the design and migration of records onto the platform.

The user is provided with a variety of analytic viewpoints or strategies. How the user navigates the database depends on the goals that they have in mind.

The database can be browsed using the following options. The tab entitled ‘projects’ shows the 40 countries for which data was collected. Each country tab contains a list of policy actions that were taken in order to protect children and their families primarily during the 9 months between March and December 2020 (for Japan and South Korea the evidence starts in February 2020). By clicking on them, the user can see detailed information of each policy action. More specifically, under the policy action, the user can view the following information: a brief description of the policy action, the country name, the policy domain under which the action is categorised, the name or title of the measure, eligibility, type, the date(s) when the policy action started or was announced and ended, amount or duration, total estimated cost or funds allotted, recipient, the route to the child and information sources.

Furthermore, by using keyword tagging included on each policy, it is possible to filter across countries and all records using certain search links, which have been included below for users wishing to explore policies based on certain categorisations:

The Download tab downloads the full table in excel format (access here). It may be useful to fully download for users who wish to compare a large number of policies or indicators.

Read the Methodological Note for Child Policy During COVID-19 Database by Mary Daly, Sunwoo Ryu and Ertugrul Polat.

Explore the Child Policy During COVID-19 Database on the Sustainable Digital Scholarship website.