mobile surveys

Handheld Computers for Self-Administered Sensitive Data Collection: A Comparative Study in Peru

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Aug 18, 2010
Handheld Computers for Self-Administered Sensitive Data Collection: A Comparative Study in Peru data sheet 1144 Views
Bernabe-Ortiz, A. et al.
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Publication Date: 
Mar 2008

A PDA-based program for data collection was developed using Open-Source tools. In two cross-sectional studies, we compared data concerning sexual behavior collected with paper forms to data collected with PDA-based forms in Ancon (Lima).

The first study enrolled 200 participants (18–29 years). General agreement between data collected with paper format and handheld computers was 86%. Categorical variables agreement was between 70.5% and 98.5% while numeric variables agreement was between 57.1% and 79.8%. Agreement and correlation were higher in those who had completed at least high school than those with less education.

The second study enrolled 198 participants. Rates of responses to sensitive questions were similar between both kinds of questionnaires. However, the number of inconsistencies (p = 0.0001) and missing values (p = 0.001) were significantly higher in paper questionnaires.

This study showed the value of the use of handheld computers for collecting sensitive data, since a high level of agreement between paper and PDA responses was reached. In addition, a lower number of inconsistencies and missing values were found with the PDA-based system. This study has demonstrated that it is feasible to develop a low-cost application for handheld computers, and that PDAs are feasible alternatives for collecting field data in a developing country.

Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Aug 18, 2010
Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development data sheet 1611 Views
Frances Jeffrey‐Coker, Matt Basinger and Vijay Modi
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010

During a study conducted in January 2010 by researchers of the Columbia University Mechanical Engineering Department in New York City, approximately 300 farmers were surveyed in rural Mali. Farmers were randomly sampled via standard proportional, stratified, cluster techniques. Data collection took place through the use of HTC G1 smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. The phones were equipped with Open Data Kit (ODK) software; a system that immediately digitizes data for analysis, allows for remote monitoring of the collection progress, and facilitates the gathering of data, eliminating the need for paper surveys and therefore significantly reducing survey times. ODK has the potential for a profound impact on the future of data gathering, particularly in development applications where locations may be remote and budgets tight, yet where mobile phone use is rapidly increasing with the expansion of service

The Use of Mobile Phones as a Data Collection Tool: A Report from a Household Survey in South Africa

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Aug 17, 2010
The Use of Mobile Phones as a Data Collection Tool: A Report from a Household Survey in South Africa data sheet 1755 Views
Mark Tomlinson, Wesley Solomon, Yages Singh, Tanya Doherty, Mickey Chopra, Petrida Ijumba, Alexander C Tsai and Debra Jackson
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Publication Date: 
Dec 2009

Background: To investigate the feasibility, the ease of implementation, and the extent to which
community health workers with little experience of data collection could be trained and successfully supervised to collect data using mobile phones in a large baseline survey

Methods: A web-based system was developed to allow electronic surveys or questionnaires to be
designed on a word processor, sent to, and conducted on standard entry level mobile phones.

Results: The web-based interface permitted comprehensive daily real-time supervision of CHW
performance, with no data loss. The system permitted the early detection of data fabrication in
combination with real-time quality control and data collector supervision.

Conclusions: The benefits of mobile technology, combined with the improvement that mobile phones offer over PDA's in terms of data loss and uploading difficulties, make mobile phones a
feasible method of data collection that needs to be further explored.

Budgets, Batteries, and Barriers: PDA Implementation Issues for NGOs

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jun 28, 2010
Budgets, Batteries, and Barriers: PDA Implementation Issues for NGOs data sheet 2165 Views
Kanchan Banga, Tanti Liesman, Alicia Meulensteen, Jennifer Wiemer
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Apr 2009

What prevents humanitarian non-government organizations (NGOs) from adopting technology that can potentially improve their operations and response time? Global Relief Technologies, a producer of handheld data collection devices, asked a New York University Capstone Team to research the barriers to NGO PDA adoption. The Capstone Team conducted 17 interviews with nine organizations, from animal welfare to humanitarian relief, to discover the financial, technical, and institutional barriers preventing groups from implementing technology into their field programs. The Team also conducted two case studies of groups currently using PDA technology, one domestic and one international, to explore in depth the factors that went into the decision making processes these groups followed in their technology acquisition decisions.


Posted by wildneil on Sep 09, 2009
WildForm data sheet 1267 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Neil Bailey
Problem or Need: 

WildForm enables anyone to create their own recording form to gather data in the field.  This user-friendly tool means that you need not commission someone to create a surevy for you, just DIY!  WildForm replaces any pen and paper data gathering exercise and avoids painful data entry at the end of your data collation. 

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

WildForm enables users to create their own mobile recording form for receiving and capturing data on location.

WildForm can replace any ‘pen and paper’ data gathering exercise and is ideal for undertaking mobile surveys, inventories or quizzes. 

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a mobile phone
Is a web-based application/web service
Key Features : 

WildForm offers a wide range of data-gathering options including:

  • Drop down lists;
  • Note taking facility;
  • Linking to device recording functions (GPS, camera, audio);
  • Multi-choice questions;
  • Linking to specified files and Web pages;
  • Likert survey scales;
  • Date and time stamp.

You can freely download any forms that have been shared by the community, whilst the WildKnowledge website can also be used to upload, store and interrogate your data via reports and maps.

Main Services: 
Voting, Data Collection, Surveys, and Polling
Location-Specific Services and GIS
Display tool in profile: 
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Release Date: 
All phones/Mobile Browser
Program/Code Language: 
Organizations Using the Tool: 

Uk schools, colleges and universities. Conservation groups.

Number of Current End Users: 
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Languages supported: 
Forms in English
Handsets/devices supported: 
Any device with a web browser, functionality (e.g. offline storage, GPS reading) will vary according to browser capabilities
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 
Global Regions: 

So, Why is Data Collection on a Mobile Something We Talk About A Lot?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 11, 2009

We've been talking recently quite a lot about the many mobile apps available for data collection.  We reviewed them, we featured them, we write about them. Some of you may be wondering why in the world there is such a relative plethora of tools for surveying and data gathering out there and why we keep writing about them.  In short, gathering field data (and being able to analyze them in close-to-real time) allows organizations to respond quickly and accurately to need by constituents to then be able to deliver critical social services.

Here is a very short video, demonstrating Nokia's Data Gathering application, used by Amazonas' State Health Department in Brazil to monitor and treat outbreaks of dengue fever.  The video is not specific to Nokia's tool -- the same benefits apply to any of the mobile tools we have reviewed.  What the video does show nicely, though, is why mobile data collection matters greatly to the health and well-being of people around the world. 

And if you are not convinced, take a look at this very short video about another tool, Episurveyor. It'll give you a glimpse why these tools are so critical.