How are Countries Investing in Recovery?

The Global Recovery Observatory brings transparency to global government spending during the COVID-19 crisis. The Observatory is designed to showcase policy solutions and identify investment opportunities for governments and partners that are more impactful and sustainable.
Global Recovery Observatory

The scale and speed of announced and still to come COVID-19 recovery spending could influence the socio-economic and environmental trajectories of countries for years or even decades to come. This is a critical opportunity to channel public finance towards a future that is aligned with the Agenda 2030 and the higher ambition objectives of the Paris Agreement and the emerging post-2020 global Biodiversity Framework.

The Global Recovery Observatory tracks and assesses COVID-19 related fiscal spending policies announced by the 50 leading economies for potential impacts on the environment and the socio-economy (updated weekly; more countries to be added). The Observatory was initiated by and is housed within the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project (OUERP) at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

How to explore the data

This data visualisation, drawing from the Observatory database, maps all available recovery spending of 89 countries (50 leading economies and/or countries in Latin America and Caribbean region) and can be used to explore how countries are investing in recovery at global, country or individual policy levels.

The first view will give you a global snapshot of recovery spending. By clicking on a country circle, you will be able to see the breakdown of all recovery efforts by policy archetypes for the country. Click on the policy title and drill down to find out more about each policy and its relative ‘greenness’ and inclusiveness based on potential impact on long- and short-term Green House Gas emissions, air pollution, natural capital, quality of life, inequality and rural livelihood. Data is focusing on ‘recovery’ spending as opposed to ‘rescue’ spending.

  • Methodological note: The information contained in the visualisations is updated in real time and reflects the most recently available data and exchange rates. The numbers presented here may differ from those published in the accompanying analytical paper ‘Are We Building Back Better’ – which only covers data tracked to December 31, 2020. Deviations are driven by fluctuations in exchange rates and the public release of new data from official government sources in 2021, related to announcements in 2020.
  • The Observatory is a tool for the global community, maintained by citizens rather than by governments. The current database will inevitably include errors; such is the nature of manually recording nearly 4,000 policies and 32,000 data points. The Oxford team relies on users to help improve Observatory accuracy and coverage. Please direct any correction requests here.


This data visualization was developed by the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNDP, drawing inspiration from an accompanying report from the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project and UNEP.

See report: Are We Building Back Better? Evidence from 2020 and Pathways for Inclusive Green Recovery Spending.

Data source:

O’Callaghan, B., Yau, N., Murdock, E., Tritsch, D., Janz, A., Blackwood, A., Purroy Sanchez, L., Sadler, A., Wen, E., Kope, H., Flodell, H., Tillman-Morris, L., Ostrovsky, N., Kitsberg, A., Lee, T., Hristov, D., Didarali, Z., Chowdhry, K., Karlubik, M., Shewry, A., Bialek, F., Wang, M., Rosenbaum, N., Gupta, S., Hazell, T., Angell, Z., and Hepburn, C. (2020). Global Recovery Observatory. Oxford University Economic Recovery Project.


Additional Resources