Pull data from Parent project for select_one or select_many choice list

I have been scratching around for two days trying to find a solution to this problem. I just watched a very informative video from Jana at Humanitarian Data Solutions, and she states a limitation that it is not possible to create a choice list from a parent form. Our use case is where we set up a set of survey sites that will be revisited by registered surveyors. Each surveyor has a discrete territory with multiple sites. The parent-child hierarchy is Surveyor → Orchard → Survey, with one-to-many relations all along the chain. Ideally, we collect the surveyor’s details using the top-level project. The surveyors then register orchards using the Orchards project. When they open the Orchards project, the first question is “Surveyor?” so we can associate the Surveyor with each Orchard. Again, ideally, the choice list should be populated from the Surveyor project. Once an orchard has been added to the Orchard project table, a Survey can be completed. Opening up the Survey form, the first question should be Surveyor, (with the choice list from the Surveyor project), and based on this choice, the Orchard “select one” question should be selected from a choice list populated from the parent Orchard project data. This workflow would be exactly the same if, instead of Orchard, we used Household and there were revisits? From the examples I’ve come across for Kobo Toolbox, the first question appears to need to be answered using data that is in the parent form, but not able to be pulled (e.g. HoHH_ID).

Our need for the hierarchy is to manage the list of orchards, and to limit access to orchard surveys to the surveyors who conducted the survey.

The only workaround we can see is to manually populate the Surveyors and Orchard details in the Survey form.xls file. If this is the case, we may as well just ask the surveyors to collect their orchard data in an excel table and then manually insert it into the Surveys.xls file. Every time we add a Surveyor or Orchard, we have to manually update the system.

One of the entries in the user guide section enticingly suggested that select_one_from_file may be able to get data from an xml file, but without further details.

Is there a hard programatic limitation here, or is it just that the functionality hasn’t been developed to allow the choice-list to be populated automatically? What are others doing in this situation?

Please help us. We’ve been scratching around here for two days trying to find a solution.

By the way, we are so grateful for the KoboToolbox ecosystem.

Welcome to the community, @darrenk!

So are you trying to create a choices list for your child form from the list provided in the parent form using the dynamic data attachment feature?

Thank you @Kal_Lam for the welcome, and for developing and maintain this wonderful resource.

Yes, that is exactly what I am trying to do. As far as I can see, the dynamic data feature works by querying a single record in the Parent project and then allowing access to the attributes in that record. What we need to do is run a query against the unique identifier in the Parent project to start with to populate the Select One options in the Child project. In the Child project, the Select One answer is then used to select the appropriate record in the Parent project so that the rest of the dynamic data attachment features can be accessed.

Kind regards,


Hi @darrenk is this approach is work to create dynamic choice list from Dynamic attachment ? if this works would you like to share the example of the xls file ?

It will be really helpful, I already looking this around and cannot found article about it.

@darrenk, @taufik_maggangka, this is still a feature request. For more details: