Since its launch in March 2020, the tracker has become a key global resource used by policymakers around the world and cited in thousands of COVID-19 research studies. By the start of 2022, the OxCGRT was the only global policy tracker still publishing data on COVID-19.
Powered by more than 1200 citizen scientists all around the world, the tracker monitored and recorded data about the measures that governments have put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 since the very start of the pandemic and up until now. This project is only possible because of the hard work of this global team of data collectors.
As the world moves into an emerging ‘new normal’, government policies are changing less frequently in nearly every jurisdiction. The pandemic continues, but without changes in policy, there is less value in publishing a daily tracker of policy settings. In 2023 and beyond, the team behind the tracker will continue working with research partners to identify the key questions and learn lessons for future responses from the data we have collected. We will continue to work on research to help the world better manage pandemics.
The future of the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker data
Once OxCGRT stops updating, its final “core” dataset will include data from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022 for 180+ national jurisdictions plus subnational jurisdictions in seven countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States). The only exception to this is that we will continue to collect and publish data for Chinese provinces, where there is still significant variation and change in policy. This 2023 Chinese data will not form part of our core dataset, but will instead be published separately on our GitHub repository for Chinese subnational data. Our quality checking process – which follows behind data collection – will continue into 2023, and this may result in retrospective changes to the data. We will announce through our data user mailing list (sign up here) when we publish a “final” version of the dataset.
Our forward research
The tracker team are excited to continue publishing groundbreaking research on pandemic policy. We are currently engaging with partners to devise new approaches to data collection that can be deployed quickly at scale in the face of future pandemics or other global emergencies. We will also continue research into how and why governments prepare for and respond to pandemics in different ways, as well as the effects of COVID-19 policies on behaviour, health, the economy, and other outcomes. Additionally, as data from the tracker has an important role to play in building preparedness, the team are working closely with colleagues across the recently launched Oxford Pandemic Sciences Institute.