KoBo Toolbox

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What is the name of the tool?
KoBo Toolbox
Tool Class
To what "family" does the tool belong? Pick as many categories as are appropriate. EG: Data Collection, Security, etc. The wiki will automatically create a link to the relevant tool class.
Data Collection
Who made the tool? Sometimes the tool name and the developer name are the same, and sometimes, they are different.
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Date Created
What was the date when the tool was first launched?
Still Maintained?
Do the developers of the tool continue to work on it, adding features and fixing problems?
Open Source?
Is the tool's source code original source code freely available and may it be redistributed and modified? (This makes it possible for users to employ the tool for free, with some technical effort.)
Pick the platforms on which the user would primarily use the tool. Be as selective as possible. If a tool works mainly in the browser, select "Web". If the user can technically load the interface on a smartphone but have a very poor experience, do not select "Android" or "iOS". "Mac" and "PC" are for apps that must be installed to a machine in order to run, as opposed to running from a browser.
iOS, Android, Web
What is the main website where a user can learn more about the tool? (Remember to include "http://)."
Payment Structure
How, if at all, does a user pay to use the tool. Select all that apply: "Free" if there are components of a service that can be used for free; "Paid" if payment is required (either one-time, or at a given rate upon use) for use of the tool's full functionality; "subscription" if a monthly payment is required.
Languages Supported
What languages does the app's interface support? Note: some apps allow users to communicate in other languages but require the user to use an English language interface. In this case, the app is considered only to support "English".
English, Arabic, Kurdish, Hindi
Skill Level Needed
  • Beginner - The tool has a simple interface that assists the user, either through automatic processes or simple guides, in working with the tool. The user is able to do most things that they need to do without knowledge of advanced concepts, like code.
  • Intermediate - The tool allows the user to perform many tasks without knowledge of advanced concepts, but about an equal amount of functionality requires advanced knowledge. Some training may be required to use the tool.
  • Advanced - The tool requires advanced knowledge or training in order to use most of its functionality.

Tool Description

KoBoToolbox is a suite of tools for field data collection for use in low-data environments. The tool was designed for use in addressing humanitarian crises, as well as aid professionals and researchers working in developing countries. Kobo Toolbox is built off the Open Data Kit (ODK) and is moderately easy to use.

Data types that can be collected include:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Checkboxes
  • Short answer
  • Whole number
  • Decimal number
  • Date
  • GPS Location
  • Photo
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Barcode
  • Acknowledge (checkbox)
  • Matrix/Rating
  • Ranking
  • Calculation


What Makes This Tool Different from Others in its Class?

Unlike Google Forms or other web-based survey tools, Kobo Toolbox is particularly useful for conducting in-person interviews in locations with a limited Internet connection. After creating a form in an environment with Internet, an individual or team loads it up onto a laptop or cell-phone device. The form, and any information collected, is stored locally on the device. Hundreds of data points can be collected by a team in an area without connectivity. Once the team returns to the office, the form automatically uploads the device to a shared database for analysis and visualization.

KoBo Toolbox uses multiple features useful for data-verification, making it difficult to falsify records. Users can be asked to log-in, their device identity can be logged, and asked to submit audio or visual samples of the people or places they are capturing. These features make it possible to reduce the amount of fraudulent data collected.

Links to Tutorial Content

Projects that use this tool

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  • The KoBo platform has been used in to conduct scale population studies in places like the Central African Republic, Northern Uganda and Liberia.