ODKOpen Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data col-lection solutions. ODK provides an out-of-the-box solution for users to:

  • Build a data collection form or survey
  • Collect the data on a mobile device and send it to a server; and
  • Aggregate the collected data on a server and extract it in useful for-mats.

Urban Zoo Team Training on ODK System:

A group of the urban zoo group members underwent the training on using the ODK system at ILRI and were tasked with ensuring that future data collection was electronic. Through this electronic medium, it re-places paper and other electronic formats we have been using previously.

ODK is deployed on either mobile phones or dedicated tablet computers using the Android operating system.

It has recently been used in our study areas and It will also be used in the upcoming 99 HH study for data collection at the house-hold, environmental and Value chain level.

How to use ODK System

  1. Developing the questionnaires
  • The questionnaires are converted into open data kit system
  • The questionnaires is tried in the field to determine its suitability
  • Changes are affected depending on the results of the trial, the changes are made after consultations between the questionnaire developer(s), the data management team and the field team.
  • The system of uploading the data to the server and the getting the data is tested
  1. Using the questionnaires
  • The field team is then trained on how employ the tablets in the field for the purpose of data collection
  1. Administration of questionnaire from the tablet
  2. Procedure for uploading the form
  • This is to be done with internet connection
  • The form is sent to the server

Data management

  • The data collected is stored at ILRI bio repository server
  • This data as accessible by the team for analysis
  • The data can be accessed and analysed in third party software.

Why ODK?

The urban zoo team opted for this data collection method because of

  • Ease of use
  • Data security is optimized
  • No need for electronic data entry af-ter collection
  • Cuts on paper work
  • Enhances quality of data collected especially set triggers
  • Ability to collect GPS location
  • Ability to take multimedia data e.g. pictures

For more information on ODK, log onto the website: http://opendatakit.org/


Article Prepared by:

Maurice Karani and Patrick Muinde, Research Technicians

The Zoonotic and Emerging Disease group studies a range of epidemiological issues revolving around the domestic livestock, wildlife and human interface


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