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Mobile Data Collection toolbox

3.2 Tools


What is the difference between KoBoToolbox, Kobo Collect and ODK Collect?

These set of tools often used by aid organisations are often confused, so we thought we would offer a few clarifications.

KoBoToolbox is the online platform where you can manage your data collection projects. It is also, therefore, the default platform (or server) used to do mobile data collection that also stores collected data. It is on KoBoToolbox that you create an account, and once you sign in, you can manage your data collection projects (build a survey using the online survey builder, deploy your forms, review your data, download your data, etc.).

Kobo Collect and ODK Collect are two very similar mobile applications that can both connect to KoBoToolbox. It is recommended to use ODK Collect for data collection because it generally offers extra features. However, some new features, recently added to ODK Collect (and the server ODK Aggregate formerly ODK Central) might not be supported and available in KoBoToolbox server.

You also can check this post on the ODK Forum on that subject.

Which MDC tool should I use?

There is a breadth of MDC solutions with different strengths and limitations, and as such, it is important to review different solutions before investing time and energy into implementation. For a detailed overview of common MDC tools, please review CartONG’s 2021 MDC solution benchmarking report, here.

For more information see :

Can we do case management with MDC?

Standard MDC tools like KoBoToolbox do not permit case management. The recommendation for case management is to use dedicated case management solutions, such as CommCare, ODK-X, or whatever sectorial dedicated tool is the most relevant. Some generic MDC tools such as SurveyCTO also allow for very basic case management, if you have a strong reason for staying with generic and survey-focused MDC solutions.

Is it possible to receive alerts or reminders while using MDC?

It is not possible to receive alerts and reminders through standard MDC tools such as KoBoToolbox. More advanced paying tools sometimes make this possible.