Scott Morrison speaks with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian during a national cabinet meeting (Image: AAP/Sydney Morning Herald/Alex Ellinghausen)

Measuring a country's COVID-19 success takes more than just looking at spread, cases and deaths. Or at least, that's the argument made by a major report analysing 16 countries' pandemic response.

Public health responses aren't the start and end to pandemic management. There are politics and policy and how well a government functions, as well as economic management.

And according to the study, led by a team based at Harvard, Cornell and Arizona State universities involving more than 60 researchers from around the world, while it's too early to say definitively which country comes out on top, there have been shortfalls in Australia's response.