‘Supertracker’ global directory launched to track policy changes during COVID-19

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The Oxford COVID-19 ‘Supertracker’, launched today, is an online platform established to help policy-makers around the world to navigate the policy responses to tackling the pandemic, and its aftermath around the world. 

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.

What started out in March as a Twitter thread by DPhil student Lukas Lehner has evolved into a new global directory compiling over 100 data sources. Within a few weeks, thousands of researchers from over 100 countries around the globe visited the first iteration of the website, making use of the directory and contributing to the growing number of entries. The project is led by Dr Marek Naczyk, with the involvement of Professor Mary Daly, Head of Department Professor Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Lukas Lehner and Dr Tim Vlandas. This novel collection is designed to assist researchers and policy-makers in keeping track of a rapidly growing number of data sources. Compiling policy trackers and surveys, the tool allows users to search by:

  • policy area e.g. ‘education policy’ or ‘social and economic policy’;
  • country coverage;
  • data format;
  • and, author. 

In addition, the data summary can be downloaded as a CSV for offline analysis. 

The Oxford Supertracker tool is freely available online: supertracker.spi.ox.ac.uk

The plan is to continue to develop the resource, with input from policy-makers, researchers and users, to identify information symmetries and gaps in existing trackers and propose concrete actions to address these. These will be particularly relevant to the social policy and economic inequality prevention measures that are put in place as lockdown policies ease.

Marek Naczyk, Associate Professor in Comparative Social Policy and lead for this project, said: ‘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.’

Ugo Gentilini, Global Lead for Social Assistance at the World Bank, said: ‘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.’

Sebastian Königs and Andrea Garnero, Economists at The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said: ‘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 colleagues here at the OECD.’ 

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: 
Department of Social Policy and Intervention: Lukas Lehner 
University of Oxford: News Office 

Notes:

  • Citation: 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.
  • Please note, this project is a collaborative effort involving over 50 contributors to date. 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).