KoBoToolbox was co-founded by Phuong Pham and Patrick Vinck now based at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative who were confronted by the challenges of collecting data in a secure fashion, increasing the quality of survey data, and making results available rapidly after data collection. We first piloted handheld digital data collection in 2007 in northern Uganda. The effort gave its name to the project: KoBo means "transfer" in Acholi, one of the local languages. The development of KoBoToolbox was uniquely driven by field-based needs and challenges. KoBoToolbox continues to receive support from its amazing partners. The development of KoBoToolbox and its use in the field has been made possible by grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The KoBoToolbox website includes sections for each of the tools, a User Guide to provide help, Showcases of projects using KoBo Tools, a Developers area, and more. For those interested in getting started with digital data collection, it is reccomended that you get an overview of the whole process on the Tour page, and complete the Getting Started tutorial from the User Guide.
KoBo is an open community and we would love to hear from those who consider using the KoBoToolbox and those who have already used it in the field. We hope that you will contact us with your questions and with information about your project.
Patrick Vinck, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health and Associate Faculty with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Before joining HHI in 2011, he directed and co-founded the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, where he focused on managing and implementing empirical studies on the process of social reconstruction in countries affected by mass violence. His work is informed by several years of experience working on development projects in Africa. Vinck also-cofounded KoBo, a digital data collection project to advance human rights research. He serves as a member on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; an Adjunct Associate Professor at Tulane University’s Payson Center for International Development; and a regular consultant on vulnerability analysis to the United Nations World Food Programme. His work has been published in journals covering a wide range of disciplines, including political science, social science, public health and medicine. He graduated as an engineer in applied biological sciences from Gembloux Agricultural University (Belgium), and holds a Ph.D. in International Development from Tulane University.
Phuong Pham, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health and Associate Faculty with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). She recently joined HHI after holding the positions of Director of Research at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center and Adjunct Associate Professor at Tulane University's Payson Center for International Development. Her areas of specialization are applications of epidemiologic research method and information technology in complex emergency settings. She is a co-founder of the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations, Peacebuilding Data Project and KoBo Project. She has extensive experiences in designing and implementing research and technology solutions in on-going and post-confliction countries such northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Iraq, Cambodia and other areas affected by mass violence.
Tino Kreutzer is Program Manager of the KoBoToolbox project. Prior to joining the team he has been working for the United Nations Development Programme since 2007 and continues to consult for the United Nations, NGOs, and private sector international development projects. He has extensive experience with collecting information and managing projects in extremely challenging environments, including in DR Congo, Central African Republic, Guinea-Conakry, South Africa, Ecuador, Liberia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He holds a BA in political science from Jacobs University and an MA in media studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.