Hello KoboToolbox team! I am wondering if there are any plans to add something similar to Entities in ODK Central (Managing Entities in Central - ODK Docs) to the KoboToolbox server? I think this feature adds a lot of value for field monitoring workflows which often require repeat visits to the same place, for example to monitor the long-term impact of an oil spill. I would like to know if there are already existing plans within the Kobo ecosystem to support Entities (or similar) as well.
Welcome to the community, @rudo! Could you describe your use case practically so we could explore if this feature is already in our features pipeline? We would appreciate it if you could be as practical as possible (maybe even provide some examples if needed).
Certainly. Here is a user story.
A community in the rainforest has heard about a oil spill nearby their territory caused by a company. They would like to document this oil spill as evidence of their rights being violated, insofar as it could cause pollution of the waterways.
They travel there and use a KoboToolbox form to document the incident, which has in fact happened.
Now, they would like to track the long-term impact of this incident by visiting the site multiple times over the next six months by filling out a KoboToolbox form about the status of the pollution.
They could just fill out the same form as the first time every time, and record a unique geopoint in so doing, or fill out a second form that was designed for follow-up questions about pollution already documented… but it would make for a much tidier data cleanup, validation, and visualization process if in these successive visits, they could fill out data about the same Entity that was already documented the first time.
I did some more research on this, and learned about Dynamic Data Attachments. It looks like it is possible to pull in data from another form, but that there are some limitations about setting up child form data as a
select_one for e.g. a radio button form, or a geopoint selector, as you can do with ODK Central Entities (as per the trees example in the abovelinked page).
As mentioned, this would be great to have for KoboToolbox as well, so we can have multiple encounters with the same entity.
Thank you for making it much clear, @rudo! Hopefully, we have some funding for this to make it a reality. Feel free to reach us back if you wish to fund this feature.