Several questions on the same variable

I cannot find a thread on the following problem: I have two organizations, each with a list of their staff. So a first select_one question defines the organization and depending on the choice, the second or third select_one question is relevant. I would like to put the answer to the second and third question into the same variable (name: ‘collector’), but it seems that later in the questionnaire filters using that variable don’t work – concretely: the additional question in case of “other” being selected does not appear, but it appears, if I use different variables (collector1, collector2), which however increases the complexity in a lot of similar cases.

While I don’t think it is relevant, I have put allow_choice_duplicates to yes under settings.

Is it generally not allowed to fill the same variable (name) with different questions?


Here is the (simplified) case:

type — name — label

select_one orgs — org — Implementing organisation:

select_one staff_llcl — collector — Data captured by: — ${org}=‘llcl’

select_one staff_cafo — collector — Data captured by: — ${org}=‘cafo’

text — collector_alt — Data captured by (add your name, if you were not on the list): — selected(${collector},‘coll_other’)

list_name — name — label
staff_llcl — llcl_01 — CBF Kaveto Engelberth Makena

staff_llcl — coll_other — Other (not listed)

staff_cafo — cafo_01 — PO Josephine Shikusho

staff_cafo — cafo_02 — APO Elizabeth Shikusho

staff_cafo — coll_other — Other (not listed)

Could you simplify your issue a bit. Could not understand.

Hm, don’t really now how to simplify (the simple xlsform content is shown at the end of the question). Maybe I can add something instead: From whatever organization the data collector is and whether it is one of the pre-defined names or one which is entered manually after choosing “other”, it should always go to the same variable (name: ‘collector’).

Kal_Lam, I was wondering how one cannot understand my question. Your reaction made me think that I must have suggested a solution which is completely unusual (while the problem obviously is a very typical one). So, I think I found the trick: Instead of using three questions/lines to feed the same variable (from different lists), the normal solution is to use choice_filters (and just one question/line)!!!

Thanks for triggering that thought!


Glad to know it worked for you!

Hello @york_rff,

As far as I know. It#s NOT possible (at last with the normal features in KoBoToolbox. I don’t know if there is any trick, like using bind and setvalue. Maybe one of the experts may answer this. @Kal_Lam, @stephanealoo, @Xiphware
It’s a relevant question, also for other use-cases!

Another solution for you could be to use two different (alternate) variables and then calculate a 2rd variable as combination…

Could you share your workaround example with the community, please.
Have a safe week-end

Hi @wroos
You are right, it is not possible to populate one variable with multiple questions directly on the platform. I would suggest the approach indicated by wroos


Yes, happy to share the new solution (which is probably quite standard). It is still two fields (the second for the manual entry in case of not being on the list) and I would need to use a calculate approach to put them into one, but it is already much more elegant now,.

type /// name /// label /// relevant /// choice_filter
select_one orgs /// org /// Implementing organisation:
select_one collectors /// collector /// Data captured by: /// /// orgfilter=${org}
text /// collector_alt /// Add your name: /// selected(${collector},‘coll_other’)