Open Data Kit (ODK) Training Course -Mobile Data Collection


OPEN DATA KIT (ODK) COURSE-Mobile Data Collection



Here is an opportunity to master mobile data collection using Open Data Kit (ODK)


ODK is a set of open source applications which allow one to create a questionnaire form in the Xform format, fill it out on a mobile phone or tablet running the Android operating system, store and view the aggregated information on a central server, and retrieve the aggregated data to one’s computer for analysis. Data capture includes GPS coordinates for real-time mapping of responses in Google Maps, or near-real time once the surveyor has an Internet connection to send the collected forms back to the server.


Whether you’re a seasoned mobile apps user or new to mobile apps especially for data collection, this course will allow you to quickly get grips on with ODK for both simple and more complex tasks during your data management process. This course also plays a vital role in minimizing both time and resources used right from data collection all through the data management process and also make analyses easier.


Capturing data in the field usually means using paper. By using an Android smartphone or an Android tablet, field data can be collected with all the advantages that electronic data gathering brings (value input control, skipping irrelevant sections, elimination of transcribing errors from paper, etc.). Data is gathered in situ with the data records stored on the device. Once the surveyor is within range of a WiFi or mobile phone data connection, he/she can send the data to a central server.


The goal of this course is to give the participant the ability to put in place all the pieces required for a mobile data collection system using ODK. Knowledge & Skills for efficiency and productivity in development


  1. To enable the individual to create X-forms which will include skip logic, choose one and choose multiple questions, cascading question types, input value control, multiple languages, media and geo-location input, just to mention a few.
  2. To enable participant to install and manage a central server on the Windows platform to aggregate the data or use one of the free on-line storage services.
  3. To enable the participant learn how to set the various parameters of the Android application for optimal usage.



The course is organized in modules and each module covers a reasonable content to enable participants connect and progress successively in the next modules.

Module 1: Introduction to mobile phone data collection

Module 2: Setting up aggregate server with Google App Engine

Module 3: Designing & building a form using EXCEL

Module 4: Uploading the form to aggregate & send to Android phone

Module 5: Setting server preference on android phone

Module 6: Data collection, Enter primary field data, capture GPS coordinates, take photos, record audio sounds and videos

Module 7: Submitting completed data to aggregate server

Module 8: Exporting data from ODK aggregate as CSV

Module 9: Importing ODK - CSV file into statistical applications

Module 10: Exporting GPS data for Mapping/Visualizing (fusion map)


It will involve lectures with slides, hands-on computer exercises, hands-on tablet/phone exercises and use of other PC applications.


By the end of the course, the participant should be able to:

  1. Explain the purpose of ODK
  2. Use EXCEL toolto build questionnaire
  3. Create a questionnaire form using EXCEL
  4. Manage the aggregate central server in terms of users, rights, form uploads/downloads, filters and exports
  5. Read and modify and/or debug a form in its XML format
  6. Download, use and set the parameters of ODK collect for optimal use
  7. Incorporate advanced form features such as picture questions, cascading, repeat groups, multilingualism, calculated variables, photo and sound variables, and graphic annotation
  8. Geotag forms and visualize them on a map Knowledge & Skills for efficiency and productivity in development



Interested organizations/institutions/individuals are expected to have laptops and a solid level of general computer literacy, fluency with Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet application. No prior experience in ODK is required.



As always, we administer this course in 4 days which are weekends. To this end, we will administer the course on 20th, 21th, 27th and 28th January, 2018.


The training will be conducted in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.



Interested persons should request for a registration form on the following email address:


The registration fee for the course is MK5500.00.



The registration fee can be paid using the following:

Stephen Kumwenda

First Merchant Bank (FMB)

Zomba Branch




Alternatively you can use MPAMBA or ZOONA to phone numbers below.

For further inquiries you can also call on: +265 882 110 656.



Mr. Stephen Kumwenda- Expert in Designing Questionnaires in ODK

Mr. Stephen Kumwenda is currently working with M&A research firm as a researcher. He holds (Economics and Demography) from Chancellor College. He is an expert in designing questionnaires in ODK applications in EXCEL and ODK Build. He has designed questionnaires in ODK for projects of various organizations. Of recent he has designed questionnaires for the following projects.

Assessment of Disaster Preparedness in Malawi, Center for Independent Evaluation, Lilongwe

Assessing Livelihood of Tobacco Farmers in Malawi, Kenya and Zambia, Center for Agriculture Research (CARD), LUANAR, Lilongwe

Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programme for INGO Consortium, M&A Research Firm, Area 6/134, Lilongwe

Evaluation of EPRIM Programme for Find Your Feet, M&A Reseach Firm, Area 6/134, Lilongwe


Comment on advertised Job

Kiara T.

2nd of January, 2018 11:34:01 am

Location: Blantyre, Lilongwe & Mzuzu

Employment Type: Training Programme

Salary: N/A

Job deadline: 28th January, 2018

Company: Centre for Research and Capacity Development (CERCAD)

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