Using KoBo for periodical inspections/surveys

Hi all,

I would like to use KoBo for monitoring households in a given area, i.e. adding and recording multiple observations for each location (household). Let’s say we have 100 households with known GPS locations (Lat/Lon). We want field inspectors to visit each household once per month and ask the same questions, e.g. is roof leaking, were there any violence incidents in the neighborhood etc. We need to record the responses over time to be able to monitor trends and local needs.

How this could be achieved in KoBo? We need to have a fixed list of households, preferably with their location displayed on a map (so it is easier for inspectors to find the household). The questionnaire should accept multiple responses, and the responses should be linked with the household.

I know how this could be achieved with ArcGIS Collector with 1-to-many related records ( but was wondering if KoBo can be used in the same scenario?

All comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

I think you are asking how to analyze the past record on the current data collection if that so collectors can access the data they submitted the best thing you can do is after every collection you have to analyze the data using other tools like excel spss or any other

Hi Yonatan. Thanks for your feedback. Perhaps I was not clear about my problem. Let me rephrase and simplify: I have a predefined list of sites (households) to inspect. I don’t what the inspector to create GPS point at each household, as they are already defined. I’d rather need to assign each response to one of the predefined households (points). What would be the best way to do that in KoBo?

Hi @janekb,

KoBoToolbox at the moment is fully able to collect data for the cross-sectional surveys. You could even collect data for longitudinal survey using KoBoToolbox by conducting cross-sectional surveys at different time intervals (with the same variables over a certain period of time). However, KoBoToolbox at present does not offer you the feature to collect data from a respondent (or a household) by keeping responses of the variables that can viewed during data collection (at different period of time). Similarly, KoBoToolbox allows you to collect GPS (in different formats viz. the geopoint, geotrace and geoshape) but is unable to detect a household with the GPS coordinates collected previously. Hence i would suggest you to use a unique ID number (while designing a form in KoBoToolbox) and collect data for the same household at different period of time (saving the survey data with different survey dates) and then analyze the same (using different software viz. SPSS, stata etc.) and explore the changes and trends seen over time.

However, if you wish to see the features (that you mentioned in your post) in KoBoToolbox, you could also request KoBoToolbox with the same. The team would be happy to make improvements based on the users requirement and demands.

1 Like

Hi @Kal_Lam. Thanks for feedback. Using How would you “use a unique ID when designing a form”? One way I can think of is creating a Select One question with a list of unique IDs (names) of households. Did you mean some other solution? I think this could work, although having a map of locations instead of a long list - that would be fantastic!

Let me explain how this new KoBo feature could be implemented (will split into 3 parts as I can’t add one post with more than 1 image):

When creating a new Project a checkbox can be selected for “spatial inspection survey”:


part 2/3

User can then upload a point shapefile that would generate a list of locations to be inspected. Alternatively, user may add these locations in the table manually in Project details page:


part 3/3

Ultimately, at the beginning of each survey (form) the user will see a map with a set of locations. The user needs to select one location that the response will be referenced to:

Additoinally, locations may be color-coded to indicate which locations have been survey and which are yet to be inspected.

I believe this could be a very interesting improvement and I can see a lot of use cases in the humanitarian context. Please let me know if I could help with the development, as I have experience in GIS, Leaflet and other web GIS frameworks.

Looking forward to any comments and feedback from the whole KoBo community,
Best regards,


Perhaps, to make things simpler for development and implementation, this could work just like “Select One” question, except for the fact, that the selection is not from a radio/dropdown list but from the map, where the list of choices is a list of markers/point locations…

Would be great to hear from the KoBo developers what they think.


Great suggestion, this is exactly what we need in KOBO, by we I mean humanitarian workers as our works depends on prgress and monitoring