Announcing the ODK Discussion Series

October 1st, 2015 by Yaw Anokwa

I'm excited to announce the launch of the ODK Discussion Series! The goal of the discussion series is to explore the many and varied uses of ODK around the world, as well as to celebrate the contribution of Gaetano Borriello, the visionary behind the ODK project, who passed away earlier this year, far too young.

Starting Oct 5th, each week will begin with a brief post on the ODK Community email list and during the course of the week, we'll have back and forth questions, answers, and general discussion. The goal of each discussion is to look at both what worked and did not work and/or explore important topics related to mobile data collection.

We've got a number of great presenters and topics lined up already:

  • Oct 5: The three principles that guided ODK's design (Yaw Anokwa, Nafundi)
  • Oct 12: Field implementation of ODK 2.0 tools (Neil Hendrick)
  • Oct 19: ODK tools and how we're all raising the bar on data quality (Christopher Robert, SurveyCTO)
  • Nov 2: XLSForms - Making of a working standard (Matt Berg and Alex Dorey, Ona and KoboToolbox)
  • Nov 9: Role of ODK for GreenPath Food, a small social enterprise. (Eric Couper, GreenPath)
  • Nov 16: Incorporating ODK components into existing toolset (Marc Abbyad, Medic Mobile)
  • Nov 30: Vigilancia Comunitaria - An ODK tool for improving community-based health surveillance in Nicaragua (Heather Zornetzer)
  • Dec 7: ELMO - The role of ODK in the Carter Center's efforts in elections, human rights, and health (Connie Moon Sehat, ELMO)

And we're very happy to have more. Join the ODK Community email list and chime in, or email me ( if you'd like to be added to the schedule.

Thanks to Neal Lesh for putting this series together and I'm looking forward to a great discussion!

Join Nafundi and aWhere for data collection hackathon in Nairobi on Oct 16th

September 22nd, 2015 by Waylon Brunette

Agricultural organizations across East Africa are working hard to help smallholder farmers adapt to a changing climate and marketplace. Data is crucial to this adaptation, but organizations face challenges collecting reliable field data, sharing information with partners, and communicating actionable insights back to farmers.

Nafundi has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and aWhere to bring together East African agricultural organizations and developers for a Hack4Farming event in Nairobi, Kenya.

From October 16th to October 18th at Sankara Nairobi, the partners will train developers on useful data collection tools like Open Data Kit, connect these developers with organizations in need, and support both as they brainstorm and build solutions during a hackathon. Teams will compete for the best solution and the winner will earn a consultancy contract to further develop their idea.

In addition to the training and hackathon, there will be a kickoff and networking reception on the evening of October 16th. The reception will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Bitange Ndemo, former Permanent Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication.

To sign up for Hack4Farming hackathon in Nairobi from October 16th to 18th, go to

XLSForm Offline and ODK Aggregate VM are now free

July 8th, 2015 by Waylon Brunette

Yesterday, XLSForm Offline was $95 and ODK Aggregate VM was $995. Today, Nafundi has made both XLSForm Offline and ODK Aggregate VM free. Forever!

The announcement on Nafundi's blog reads, "this is an unconventional way to price software, but Nafundi has always been an unconventional company. And while we've set suggested prices that ensure we can continue to add features and provide support, you can now pay whatever you'd like for XLSForm Offline and ODK Aggregate. We hope that with this model, those who can pay continue to do so. And for those who cannot, we hope this makes your data collection campaigns a little easier!"

You can find out more about XLSForm Offline and ODK Aggregate VM below.

  • XLSForm Offline: The simplest offline form designer for ODK
    XLSForm Offline is an app for Windows and Mac that converts data collection forms created with XLSForm into XForms that can be used by the ODK Collect mobile app or ODK Aggregate server. XLSForm Offline also validates the XForm, ensuring that it will run perfectly with all ODK tools. Download at XLSForm Offline.
  • ODK Aggregate VM: The easiest way to install an ODK server
    The ODK Aggregate VM is a fully-configured copy of ODK Aggregate that runs on any Windows, Mac or Linux computer. It works offline, provides complete control over where your data is stored, and requires virtually no setup. It's the easiest way to install ODK Aggregate. Download at ODK Aggregate VM.