Kobo Toolbox

1 Min. Read
Aug 7, 2019


KoBo Toolbox is a free open-source tool for mobile data collection. It is a suite of tools for field data collection for use in challenging environments. It allows you to collect data in the field using mobile devices such as mobile phones or tablets, as well as with paper or computers. It is being continuously improved and optimized particularly for the use of humanitarian actors in emergencies and difficult field environments, in support of needs assessments, monitoring and other data collection activities.

Origin of KoBo

The adaptation of KoBo Toolbox for humanitarian use was a joint initiative between OCHA, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative(HHI) and the International Rescue Committee(IRC).

OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. Official website: https://www.unocha.org/

HHI is a university-wide academic and research center at Harvard University that brings an interdisciplinary approach to promoting understanding of humanitarian crisis as a unique contributor to global health problems and to developing evidence-based approaches to humanitarian assistance. Official website: https://hhi.harvard.edu/

IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and regain control of their future. Official website: https://www.rescue.org/who-we-are


Form Builder

  • Design forms quickly and easily using the intuitive form builder
  • Reuse existing questions and blocks of questions and manage them in the question library
  • Build complex forms with skip logic and validation
  • Easily share projects with colleagues and set granular permission levels
  • Import and export XLSFormsImport via URL or upload from your computer

Collect Data

  • Online and Offline
  • On phones, tablets or any browser
  • Synchronize data which cannot be read by a third party
  • Strong safeguards against data loss even for very long interviews
  • Data immediately available right after it’s collected

Analyze and manage data

  • Create summary reports with graphs and tables, and fine-tune your report’s charts, colors and questions
  • Visualize collected data on a map which includes a heatmap, clustering, other base layers, etc.
  • Disaggregate data in reports and maps i.e. by gender, region or educational level
  • Export all data at any time
  • Access data through an API

Getting started

  • Register/ Login
  • Add new project
  • Choose from the option provided
  • Type in questions
  • Publish the questionnaire
  • Copy link and send it to people to fill it
  • Gather data and start analysis

Blog inspired from: https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/applications/kobotoolbox