Open Data Kit (or ODK for short) is an open-source suite of tools that helps organizations author, collect, and manage mobile data collection solutions. Our goals are to make open-source and standards-based tools which are easy to try, easy to use, easy to modify and easy to scale. To this end, we are proud members of the OpenRosa Consortium and active participants in the JavaRosa project.
The ODK founding core developers include researchers at the University of Washingtons Department of Computer Science and Engineering department and active members of Change, a multi-disciplinary group at UW exploring how technology can improve the lives of under-served populations around the world.
ODK began as a google.org sponsored sabbatical project under the direction of Gaetano Borriello in April of 2008 at Google’s Seattle offices. The initial team included Bill Schilit of Google Research, Adam Lerer of MIT (as a Google intern), and Julie Chin of Google.org. UW CSE graduate students Carl Hartung, Yaw Anokwa, and Waylon Brunette joined the team soon thereafter (as Google interns) and were responsible for the first two deployments of the tools in Uganda and Brazil.
Gaetano, Carl, Yaw and Waylon brought ODK back to UW in September of 2009 and Mitchell Sundt joined the team as a software engineer in 2010. Clarice Larson joined the team as a software engineer in 2013, and Jeff Beorse returned as a software engineer in 2015. Richard Anderson has led ODK since Gaetano passed away in early 2015. Other contributors at UW include Brian DeRenzi, Rohit Chaudhri, Nicola Dell, and numerous undergraduates. See our team page for a full list of participants.
ODK has been funded by a Google Focused Research Award and through donations from users. ODK is supported by a growing community of developers, implementers and users.
There are countless folks who made ODK what it is. Below are the people who have gone above and beyond.
Core Development Team
Gaetano Borriello (1959-2015), Richard Anderson, Waylon Brunette, Clarice Larson, Mitch Sundt, Jeff Beorse
Core Development Team Alumni
Yaw Anokwa (Nafundi), Nathan Breit, Rohit Chaudhri, Nicola Dell, Carl Hartung (Nafundi), Adam Lerer (D. E. Shaw Research)
Significant Code Contributors
Meletis Margaritis (SurveyCTO), Dylan Price, Sam Sudar, Clint Tseng (Socrata), Hilary Worden
Ryan Atherton, Jeff Beorse, Brian DeRenzi, Anton DeWinter (Dimagi), Alex Dorey (Modi Research Group), Neil Hendrick (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), Harlan Hile (Google), YoonSung Hong, Daniel Kayiwa (OpenMRS), Andrew Marder (Modi Research Group), Sam Mbuga (Mindflow Systems), Chris Robert (SurveyCTO), Drew Roos (Dimagi), Clayton Sims (Dimagi)
Code Patches, Documentation, Translation, and Other Contributions
Sean Askay (Google), Andrius Balsevicius, Curtis Broderick, Julie Chin (Google), Sunil Garg, Francesc Garre, James Hu, Mark Ivey (Google), Owen Kim, Jessica Leung, Moon Hwan Oh, Will Pitts, Tran Hong Quang(HSPH), Soyong Shin, Euzel Villanueva, Jimmy Zhang
If we forgot to add you, we are very sorry about the oversight. Please email email.
Below is a list of what others have said about Open Data Kit.
- Data delivery: Researchers tap the potential of mobile technologies to gather and interpret information
Alaska Airlines Magazine, 2012.
- Empowering a clean water project
African Review of Business and Technology, 2011.
- Regenstrief Investigator a Winner of Top 11 in 2011 Innovator Challenge
Indiana University School of Medicine News, 2011.
- Das Signal Im Nichts. Yaw Anokwa Und Das Open Data Kit
Innovation Stuntmen, 2011.
- Android phones help poor farmers in Uganda
PC World, 2011
- Hidden Gems Are Inside UW Computer Science & Engineering. Can They Be Mined?
- Fun with the Open Data Kit
Bryan McBride, 2011
- Exploring the Ecosystem for Pulse Lab Kampala
UN Global Pulse, 2011
- Children map their community using innovative technology in India
Diana Coulter of UNICEF, 2011
- Mobile technology: Small wonder
Nizar Diamond Ali of Inpaper Magazine, 2011
- WTIA Announces Winners of the 2011 Industry Achievement Awards at Gala Event
Washington Technology Industry Association, 2011
Larry Chang of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2011
- Open Data Kid (ODK): Personalizando los resultados
Jorge L. Alonso G., 2011
- Gaining Momentum, WTIA Industry Achievers Are Winners!
Seattle 24x7, 2011
- M4D Tech Trends 2011: What to expect and hope for
Matt Berg for BuildAfrica.org, 2011
- How Mobile Phones are Promoting Rural Transformation in Africa
Gaby for BizCovering, 2010
- Androids Come to Ghana
Andrew Azman for JHU Global Water Program Magazine, 2010
- Going Google
Indiana-Kenya Partnership Gazette, 2010
- Open Data Kit
- Open Data Kit
Yaw Anokwa for MobileActive, 2010
- ODK+Django: Geotagged Photos from Android to the Web
- Mobile tools boosting development activities
Digital opportunity, 2010
- Open Data Kit (ODK)
Amsterdam Living Lab Knowledge Center, 2010
- mPulse: eNewsletter of the mHealth Alliance
mHealth Alliance, 2010
- Ghana update
- Appropriate and Practical Technologies for Africa
Appropriate and Practical Technologies for Africa, 2010
- Projects in ICTD
MSR Summer School on Computing for Socio-Economic Development, 2010
- AMPATH's Home-Based Counseling and Testing Project (insert catchier title here)
Zeshan Rajput of Regenstrief Institute, 2010
- The KoBo Experience: or how to avoid Dark Wizards when conducting research in Africa
Neil Hendrick of Berkeley Human Rights Center, 2010
- Open Data Kit - Technology Review
MODI Research Group, 2010
- Phoning It in: Changing the World
Paul Clarke for UW Columns Magazine, 2010
- Enabling Data-Driven Decision With the Open Data Kit (ODK)
Anne Ryan Heatwole for Mobile Active, 2010
- Google Puts New Focus on Outside Research
Steve Lohr for NY Times, 2010
- Google Gives UW $1.35 Million Grant for Research on Mobile Devices
Sharon Pian Chan for Seattle Times, 2009
- Android Cellphones Dial Up African Health in University Project
Josh Fischman for The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2009
- Open Data Kit: Cell Phones Become Handheld Tools for Global Development
Computing Research Association
- Open Data Opens Doors for Citizen Scientists
Michael Bradbury for Real Science, 2009
- Cell phone evolves into handheld tool for global development
Science Codex, 2009
- Rural data collection boosted by mobile tech
Wagdy Sawahel for SciDev.net, 2009
- Data Collection Where It’s Needed the Most
Marcelo Rinesi for Frontier Economy, 2009
- Getting Developing World Data With Android and Open Data Kit
John Timmer for Ars Technica, 2009
- Cell Phones Become Handheld Tools for Global Development
Hannah Hickey for UW News, 2009
- Open Data Kit Joins the Open Mobile Consortium
Katrin Verclas for Open Mobile Consortium, 2009
- Open Data Kit - Tools for Data Collection, Aggregation, and Visualization
Open Mobile Consortium, 2009
- New releases of Mobile Data Tools: ODK and EpiSurveyor
Katrin Verclas for MobileActive.org, 2009
- Mobile tools boosting development activities
- Cell Phones Become Handheld Tools For Global Development
- Data collection in Zanzibar using Google ODK
Andrew Hager, Royal Veterinary College and Niall Winters of London Knowledge Lab, 2009
- The Open Data Kit – Another Mobile Data Collection App
Katrin Verclas for Mobile Active, 2009
Below are a few of the deployments of ODK we know about. If you would like to add yours, post your deployment in the ODK Forum Showcase.
If you are looking for a company to build a form or customize an ODK tool, try this list of ODK implementation companies.
International Space Station
- Astronaut Ronald Garan uses ODK to monitor progress on the Carbon for Water program. See this post for more.
- ODK was used in Afghanistan for fraud monitoring of the 2010 elections.
- Afghanistan Infrastructure Data Center tracks and reports on civilian and military donor infrastructure projects using ODK.
- The Ministerio De Desarrollo Social La Mujer Y La Juventud use Open Data Kit for surveys involving the well being, opinion, and problems of the inhabitants in the Provincia de Misiones of Argentina.
- CloudTech uses ODK in their Smap-Suite data collection system for RMIT and World Vision Australia.
- ULevel provides customizations on Collect for Android.
- The Surui Tribe in partnership with the Amazon Conservation Team and Google.org is piloting ODK for deforestation monitoring in the Amazon.
- University of São Paulo's School of Engineering and School of Medicine use ODK as one of its key tools for epidemiological studies.
- PPGSC-UCPEL is using ODK to conduct surveys on sociodemographics, history of health problems, family history of psychiatric disorders, structured interview for mental and behavioral disorders, quality of life, global functioning, current and childhood trauma, use and dependence of substances, among others.
- IMPACT is working on a new comprehensive psychiatric assessment called International Mobile Psychiatric Assessment for Children and Teens (IMPACT), using the newest edition of the DSM. It is an interview that is intended for use in under-serviced populations by non-specialist medical professionals.
- PeaceWorks, a software consultancy, is supporting Mennonite Economic Development Associates(MEDA) with the usage of ODK.
- Radical Dynamic has built Group Complete from ODK and CouchDB. Their system allows for real-time and collaborative data collection.
Central African Republic
- Harvard Humanitarian Institute has completed over 1800 hours of surveys documenting human rights violations using Kobo -- a tool built from ODK.
- Joaquin Blaya is using ODK as part of a strategy to commercialize open source health IT.
- Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales(IDEAM) uses ODK for data capture.
Democratic Republic of Congo
- In 2013, The Carter Center and the Commission episcopale Justice et Paix (CEJP) launched an SMS-enabled version of ELMO, an open source election observation tool using ODK.
- The Étude Sur Les Femmes Au Sud Kivu project of the Harvard Humanity Initiative hirednGNUity.net to develop the survey forms for ODK Collect in a quantitative survey of victims of war.
- ViewWorld in partnership with Danish NGOs and companies are developing better reporting tools using ODK.
- Geographer engineer, Harry Alvarez used ODK for a land administration project.
- ODK has been used by Stalin Cachimuel to collect data on 4,500 informal water users for the National Secretariat for Water.
- ODK is used to document the human remains at the Francais d'Archaeologie Orietale project at Deir el-Medina to help better understand health and disease in ancient Egypt.
- Conservation Canines is a non-profit University of Washington program that trains rescue dogs to locate endangered species in an effort to better understand and ultimately help save them.
- Lumana uses ODK to map villages, survey clients, and calculate the poverty indices of the communities they serve.
- Johns Hopkins Global Water Program uses ODK for longitudinal water surveys.
- The St. John Group, in partnership with APHL and CDC Ghana, successfully deployed ODK for Ghana Health Service to collect responses to assess the impact of the implemented Laboratory Information System on laboratory services.
- Haiti Regeneration Initiative is piloting ODK to monitor agricultural practices, crop productivity, and farmer yields of crops.
- Person Finder Mobile provided an ODK-based tool to collect data on missing people from the 2010 earthquake.
- EarlySail customized ODK Collect for a few pilot projects as well as assisted in form development. They will soon be porting ODK to BlackBerry.
- ICTPH enrolled 3,000 households (12,500 individuals) for a comprehensive primary healthcare delivery model in Tamil, Nadu. See report for more.
- PATH is piloting ODK for use as a digital birthing assistant with clinical decision support, management of patient information, and as a tool for communication and education.
- ODK is being used in UC Berkeley's Health in Hands project in Mumbai and Karnataka.
- UNICEF and the children of Kolkata are mapping their community with ODK.
- The GIZ Indonesia's Local and Regional Economic Developmment (RED) Programme deployed ODK in their Green Tourism Baseline Study in Lombok island, supported by nGNUity.net, a software consultancy.
- Kiva is using ODK to collect profile information.
- Mega Six Solutions has experience designing forms.
- Bankable Frontier Associates is using ODK to conduct surveys that support their clients in their efforts to expand financial services to the poor.
- Indepth Research provides implementation services for ODK.
- Manna Energy and Vestergaard Frandsen are using 4000 ODK-enabled phones to collect 40000 forms a day for the Carbon for Water program.
- USAID-AMPATH uses hundreds of phones with ODK for home-based HIV counseling and testing of millions of rural Kenyans and transmits the data to OpenMRS.
- Datadyne's Episurveyor mobile data collection client for Android is built from ODK.
- UN Refugee Agency and CartONG used ODK for a mosquito net survey in Dadaab, Kenya.
- Mindflow Associates provides customization services to connect ODK and OpenMRS.
- Village Enterprise uses ODK to monitor their programs and efficiently collect targeting information to ensure their services are reaching the extreme poor. ODK is helping to accelerate the growth of their Microenterprise Development Tool .
- Institute of Development Studies collected a household survey amongst Palestinian refugees from Nahr el Bared camp in the North of Lebanon.
- SARPAM uses ODK in Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and DRC to track drug availability.
- Harvard Humanitarian Institute documents human rights violations using Kobo -- a tool built from ODK.
- Invest in Knowledge is using ODK for home-based HIV counseling, testing and survey of 2,000 couples. Invest in Knowledge also provides implementation services for ODK.
- AED-SATELLIFE collects information about school decentralization using ODK.
- Columbia University researchers successfully used and positively reviewed ODK in an agroforestry adoption study.
- Dimagi and Afrisis used ODK for a 400 question household survey in Mozambique that over three months sent 15000 submissions to their DataHQ server.
- openLMIS is a supply chain and cold chain management system from VillageReach that uses ODK form filling.
- TSF uses ODK for improving the process of data collection, data analysis and information sharing between key food security stakeholders in Myanmar.
- For the Constituent Assembly elections in 2013, The Carter Center launched a version of ELMO an open source election observation tool using ODK with template questions and forms to better standardize how it assesses elections.
- The Sustainable Sciences Institute, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, uses ODK for tracking patients and their biological samples for research on dengue and influenza.
- The Millennium Villages Project uses ODK in Nigeria for surveying and designed XLS2XForms, an ODK compliant tool.
- The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria is piloting the use of ODK Collect and Aggregate for health facility mappings and tracking in Benue State, North Central, Nigeria.
- Reverton.net supported Oxfam Nigeria in conducting a baseline survey across 9 Local Government Areas in Benue and Plateau States.
- TSF uses ODK for collection, treatment and dissemination of livestock and agricultural market prices.
- City Pulse is using ODK to collect data about 'elements at risk' in flood plain areas of Indus River.
- ODK has been used to gather socio-economic data of flood affected families in Southern Punjab
- PakistanGIS team have been capacitating university researchers to increase usage of ODK for improving efficiency and accuracy in data collection for their research.
- Phillipine's Department of Trade and Industry has mapped over 700 tourist sites on the island of Bohol.
- Wireless Access for Health collects data with ODK.
- The German International Cooperation (GIZ) under its Sustainable Tourism Sector Project engagednGNUity.net to design forms and provide implementation support for data collection used in sustainability assessments of the tourism sector in Bohol and Cebu.
- nGNUity.net, an IT consultancy, is supporting the Promotion of Green Economic Developmentproject in deploying ODK for providing Green Service Providers assessment tools for "greening opportunities" in local businesses.
- The National Trust for Scotland has equipped staff and volunteers with Android tablets running ODK to collect data on the 11,000+ archaeological sites across Scotland, allowing them to assess, preserve and protect this important heritage.
- Acquee is web-based platform for collecting structured data. The platform uses ODK Collect as an Android client.
- Project Abalobi is using various ODK forms to collate small-scale fisheries data in support of the new small-scale fisheries policy.
- Seeing Swans have performed 12,000 survey of informal structures in the Western Cape. Their customized ODK Aggregate provides real-time reporting and statistics.
- Wharton School of Business is using ODK in a three year survey to study health and entrepreneurship in townships around Tshwane.
- There is ongoing work to port CyberTracker's data collection tools to the ODK platform.
- LETS GO is using ODK in fostering high school student learning in teams in environmental science.
- AfSIS is mapping soil conditions with ODK.
- Jane Goodall Institute and Google.org are piloting ODK for forest health monitoring.
- D-Tree is piloting ODK and the IMCI protocol for triaging children under five and for collecting maternal health data.
- REPSSI and Norvatis Foundation piloted ODK in Tanzania. REPSSI helps address the psychosocial needs of the over six million children affected by the triple crisis in southern Africa.
- Camfed monitors programmes within 4 districts using ODK Collect on Google Nexus 7 Tablets - Interviewed on average 3000 people while collecting information.
- Ace Africa Tanzania is using ODK to monitor and assess its community development programs in Arusha District, Moshi District and Kome Island, Mwanza Region.