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Mobile Data Collection toolbox

4.1.2 Tool focus - KoBoToolbox


Thinking through your account set-up

An important question before you create your accounts on the tool you have chosen, is how you want to set up user rights: do you want one account only that everyone connects to with different access rights, or for example do you want differentiated accounts for different sectors or surveys (for example if you have sensitive data)?

In KoBoToolbox, this translates into two main scenarios at country-office level: having a unique central account for the country office or combining a “mother” account with “child” accounts.

The central (or ‘mother’) account contains all MDC surveys that have been deployed at the country office level and their related data, ‘Child’ accounts only contain a given set of the deployed surveys and their data (the data that was only collected using that account). The selection of what is available on ‘child’ accounts is generally done based on a thematic (protection, Water and Sanitation, health,…) or a defined time period.

Principles, advantages and disadvantages of these two options are listed hereafter.

  1. Mother and child accounts: Using both a central (‘mother’) and child accounts has the advantage to precisely allow you to define who can access what surveys and data.
    • Access to the central mother account is generally limited to a few persons only at the mission-level, such as the M&E managers, database managers, and/or program coordinators.
    • Child accounts allow users to access only relevant surveys and data for them. For instance, every Program Manager (PM) can access only the data that directly concerns them.
  2. Single centralised account: Having only a central account at the country office level that is accessible to all is easier to implement and may be preferred for small delegations or if no sensitive data is collected. This solution however increases risks in terms of data protection.
  One central account withised and child accounts Only a centralised account
Size of country office If the size of the country office (with many roles & responsibilities) requires having more than one account Small country office with few people using KoBoToolbox
Security of data Better data protection, with fewer people having access to a given dataset NB: be careful, risk on all the forms if everyone has the login!
Sharing a KoBoToolbox project

A KoBoToolbox project (i.e., survey and/or collected data) can be shared from a KoBoToolbox account to another (for example from the mother account to child accounts). This is done by going under the project, clicking on the share icon, and then defining to which KoBoToolbox account(s) the project should be shared with and their respective permissions: view only or edit rights.

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KoBoToolbox Account first creation

What is KoBoToolbox ?

KoBoToolbox is a free and open-source integrated set of tools for Mobile Data Collection (MDC), allowing to build forms, aggregate and analyze interview responses. Thus it is composed of an online platform (server) and a data collection app (Kobo Collect). It is developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative for easy and reliable use in difficult field settings, such as humanitarian emergencies or post-conflict environments.

Further information on KoBoToolbox can be found here.

Create your KoBoToolbox

You can follow this tutorial.

Note: It is important to create your KoBoToolbox account on the right KoBoToolbox website- the OCHA humanitarian response website, hosted and supported by OCHA, if you are a humanitarian NGO and do not have your own KoBoToolbox server set up, else the HHI one.

  • Sélectionnez “create an account”

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Fill in the necessary information

  • E-mail: use your professional e-mail address
  • Password:
    • Use a unique password: not already used for any other application/website
    • Use a strong password: more than 8 characters, including letters, numbers and signs
    • Save it in a secure location (i.e. in a protected database).
  • Username

In order to keep track of existing KoBoToolbox accounts at country or organization level and to ease handovers, check with your HQ if there is any guidance on what your user name should be, it is recommended to have a common structure, such as : General KoBoToolbox account at organisational, country or mission level:

  • organisation_country (i.e. tdh_Nigeria)
  • organisation_country_base (i.e. tdh_Guinea_Conakry)
  • organisation_country_thematic (i.e. tdh_Iraq_Wash) or something of the kind

Finally check your emails for the validation email

  • Be careful not to click on the link twice by mistake
  • Check your spam if you cannot see the email in your inbox.

Your KoBoToolbox account is now ready to use