The training programme for aid workers and change-makers who need to scale-up or improve their use of KoboToolbox across teams, countries, and partners.

Good data collection is crucial for NGOs implementing directly or through local partners. Good data (both impact data and operational data) are a must to achieve accountability, funding growth, and innovation - both globally and at field level.

But necessary data skills are often missing and under-resourced in local field teams and within local partner organisations.   

NGOs and social enterprises want to grow their in-house data capacity.  But good data-literacy training that's focused on field teams often isn't available where & when it's needed most.

This course allows you to offer consistent and comprehensive training to your staff and partners on developing digital Kobo forms, with additional support to help everyone succeed.

Students will learn both simple and advanced techniques to create forms and collect data necessary for accountability, funding growth, and innovation.

Who This Programme is For...

NGOs and Social Enterprises that need to collect clean data.

You're a change-maker, an aid worker, an innovator or a data champion who knows that there is a better way to:

  • Show the impact of your work to donors, managers and stakeholders.

  • Do Rapid Needs Assessments with fast turnaround times.

  • Make better evidence-based decisions.

  • Capture stock counts, distributions, and training attendance all through standard mobile forms.

  • Manage your programmes remotely.

  • Collect situation-reports through mobile data collection for efficiency.

  • Promote standard data collection across global programmes - but enable contextualisation!

  • Use data to serve your 'beneficiary' with the same level of attention and care you serve your donors.


If you want to scale up and grow your funding - you need good data. But that means you need to scale-up your data-skills at the local level.

Maybe you're...

  • a Programme Manager who's just been introduced to KoboToolbox or used it for a couple quick surveys and can see its enormous potential for widescale use within your organisation.

  • a new M&E Officer who's just joined a team that uses KoboToolbox and needs to get up to speed fast!

  • an M&E advisor or Programme Quality Lead at head office and support multiple programmes - but you're frustrated by the poor quality of data you're receiving.

  • an Information Management/ICT Lead looking for a good way to upskill a diverse and global team.

  • a founder or director trying to design a global dashboard for standardising data across multiple countries, and need to get your tech staff upskilled in using KoboToolbox.

  • a localisation champion looking for a capacity building programme that methodically teaches local staff how to do better data collection.

  • a partner organisation that wants to excel at professional data management for better service delivery to beneficiaries and accountability to donors.


You're in the right place. And I'm going to tell you exactly how Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox will give you and your local staff and local partners the tools and knowledge to start building high-quality and professional forms that will give you the clean data you need to improve your accountability and your scaleability.

Image by Siloé Amazzi from Pixabay
Smiling man holding child in Congo.

By the end of this course,
you will...

  • Be confident in the data you're collecting using KoboToolbox, even if you're managing data collection remotely.

  • Do a quick audit of your existing KoboToolbox forms to make sure you've at least got the basics of good form-design covered.

  • Use advanced validation and skip logic to create datasets you can easily analyze and report to communities, partners, donors, and managers.

  • Save time (and improve efficiency) - I'll show you the best ways to collect clean and professional data. Which means: a lot less data cleaning after you're done collecting the data.

  • Prevent long and ugly choice lists in your forms - you'll be using choice filters, autocomplete, cascade selects, and more!

  • Use pictures, icons, videos and audio in your forms - to improve the data collection experience and capture a truer represenation of reality through your forms.

  • Create calculations directly inside your forms for immediate feedback to your data collectors.

What do former students say?

"Must-have session..."

~Ye Min

"I have applied new KoBo techniques in the work. I did not know and did not use cascade selection before joining KoBo coaching session. Now I can use this method for our endline survey. Other techniques also very useful and will apply it in my work. This session is a must have for anyone who wants to really improve their KoBo skill."

"Enthusiastic and educational"

~Grant

"It was enthusiastic and educative. I learned a lot during this coaching. Now I can import data from Kobo to Excel and use numbers easily. Also I am create cascade question easily thanks to this coaching. I will tell [my colleagues] that there are still a lot of tricks that we do not know even though we use Kobo from long time."

"I can't express my gratitude..."

~Anthony

"I can't express my gratitude to you how I have benefitted through your online videos. I'm now one of key persons at our Campus in Electronic Survey, Design and Implementation. Only that they don't know that all I have is as a result of many people including you. Thank you."

"I will share this with the whole MEAL team..."

~Sami

This is so helpful, I’m grateful for you. Many thanks. I will share this with all MEAL team here. It’s amazing, thank you again, Bless you Janna.

"Janna got me started in mobile data collection..."

~Mustapha

"Please let Janna and her cute baby know I appreciate their work. Their video tutorials got me started with mobile data collection."

So What's Included in the Training Programme?

~Course Curriculum~

  • 1

    Welcome!

    • A huge welcome to "Mastering Form Design" from me!

    • Requirements for Certification

    • Getting Started #1a: Example Assignment Submission

    • Getting Started #1b: Submit Your Practice Assignment!

    • Getting Started #1c: How to Upload Assignment into Course Platform

    • Getting Started #2a: How to participate in Weekly Discussions

    • Getting Started #2b: Weekly Discussion - Introduce Yourself Here!

    • Getting Started #3: How to Get Further Support and Help with Specific Lesson Topics

  • 2

    Module 1 - Dirty Data Basics!

    • Module 1 - Overview

    • M1.Lesson 1 - Mandatory Answers

    • M1.Lesson 2 - Collecting Invisible Metadata

    • M1.Lesson 3 - Collecting GPS Point Locations

    • M1.Lesson 4 - Translating into Local Language

    • M1.Lesson 4b - Using a Translation Template

    • Weekly Discussion

    • Module 1 Quiz

    • Submit Your Assignment for Module 1!

    • Let's Connect on Zoom - Thursday 10am UK time

    • Let's Connect on Zoom - Thursday 4pm UK time

    • Replay - Zoom Session #1 - Week 1

    • Replay - Zoom Session #2 - Week 1

  • 3

    Module 2 - Equations to Validate!

    • Module 2 - Overview & Introduction to Equations

    • M2.Lesson 0 - Your Validation Cheatsheet

    • M2.Lesson 1 - Validating Integers and Decimals

    • M2.Lesson 2 - Validating Text Entries with “regex”

    • M2.Lesson 3 - Validating Dates

    • M2.Lesson 4 - Validating Select one answers

    • M2.Lesson 5 - Validating Select many answers

    • Week 2 - Weekly Discussion!

    • Module 2 Quiz

    • Submit Your Assignment for Module 2!

    • Let's Zoom - Thursday 10am UK time

    • Let's Zoom - Thursday 4pm UK time

  • 4

    Module 3 - Skip Logic & Groups

    • Module 3 - Overview

    • M3.Lesson 1 - “Other”, “Yes” and “No”

    • M3.Lesson 2 - Groups & Collecting Consent

    • M3.Lesson 3 - Skip Logic with All Different Question Types

    • M3.Lesson 4 - Complexity in Skip Logic

    • M3.Lesson 5 - Groups with Field List Appearance

    • M3.Lesson 6 - Groups with Table List Appearance

    • M3.Lesson 7 - Repeats

    • Weekly Discussion - Week 3!

    • Module 3 Quiz

    • Week 3 Assignment

    • Let's Zoom - Thursday 10am UK time

    • Let's Zoom - Thursday 4pm UK time

  • 5

    Module 4 - Interactive Data Filtering

    • Module 4 - Overview

    • M4.Lesson 1 - Autocomplete

    • M4.Lesson 2 - Choice Filter

    • M4.Lesson 3 - Cascade Select

    • M4.Lesson 4 - Search

    • Weekly Discussion - Week 4!

    • Module 4 Quiz

    • Weekly Assignment - Module 4

    • Replay - Zoom Session #1 - Week 4

    • Replay - Zoom Session #2 - Week 4

  • 6

    Module 5 - Graphics and Appearance - User Design

    • Module 5 - Overview

    • M5.Lesson 1 - Appearance

    • M5.Lesson 2 - Notes & Acknowledgment

    • M5.L3 Media (Photos, Videos, and Audio)

    • M5.Lesson 4 - Barcodes and Signatures

    • M5.Lesson 5 - Randomizing select questions

    • Weekly Discussion - Week 5!

    • Weekly Assignment - Module 5

    • Module 5 Quiz

    • Replay - Zoom Session #1 - Week 5

  • 7

    Module 6 - Native Calculations

    • Module 6 - Overview

    • M6.Lesson 1 - Scoring

    • M6.Lesson 2 -Random

    • M6.Lesson 3 - Pull-data

    • M6.Lesson 4 - Geography

    • M6.Lesson 5 - Calculations in Repeat Group

    • Weekly Discussion - Week 6!

    • Module 6 Quiz

    • Weekly Assignment - Week 6!

  • 8

    Wrap-Up & Certification

    • You're Finished! Celebrate!

When you enroll during this special, time-limited period, you'll get...

Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox
(A $800 Value)

  • 6 Implementation Modules showing you how to take your KoboToolbox forms to the next level. We'll cover a few basics in the first module, but by module 2 you'll be moving into intermediate and advanced level techniques.

  • Cheatsheets for Validations, Calculations, and More. When you want to collect better data - you need to know the right formulas and equations to use. This course is packed full of cheatsheets, downloads, and example forms so you're on the right track to take lessons from the course and put them directly to use in your own forms!

  • XLSForm Templates with every Module Which you can use and modify as you like!

  • 9 Weeks of Community Support. You'll have access to a student forum where you can ask for further advice, upload pictures or even files, and get help with your exact questions. This course is designed around global and remote users - so sharing best practices among the community is very useful to everyone enrolled!

  • On the first day of training, you'll be given access to the first module of Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox. This will allow us to journey through the modules together. Each week you'll get access to one new module, for 9 weeks. Week 4 and Week 8 are 'Implementation Weeks' - no new lessons will be released those weeks, giving you time to complete and submit assignments!

  • There may be additional resources produced and uploaded throughout the 9 weeks - especially if additional support might be needed on a specific topic. So - you'll always get a notification when new material is made available!

When you enroll, you'll also get access to these extra bonuses...

(An Extra $650 Value)

  • Bonus #1: "Getting Started with KoboToolbox"

    If you're a beginner, brand new to KoboToolbox, then this course will get you all set-up in seven easy steps, ready to take on the more advanced topics in "Mastering Form Design". You'll get access to this course when you enroll, as a bonus to help you get started.

  • Bonus #2: Individual Review & Certification

    If you do the work (1 assignment per module, 1 test per module, and participating in the community dialogue) then you'll achieve a certificate by the end of the course. The certification is based on your work, which will be reviewed individually - so I'll be helping you achieve success!

  • Bonus #3: Weekly LIVE Group Sessions with Janna

    To help answer questions you have about the modules, and actually APPLYING those concepts in your own work. We will help each other achieve success with mastering KoboToolbox form design techniques. Come. Ask anything.

Enroll Yourself, Your Team, and Your Partners

Pricing options exist for taking this course as an individual, or for enabling KoboToolbox users from each of your country teams and partner organisations to take this course.

Especially for large NGOs with a wide network of local teams and partners, please buy access in packs of 6 or 25 for discounted pricing.

*If you are a local organisation and do not have capacity-building funding, please reach out directly to training@humanitariandatasolutions.com to discuss subsidized access.

Course Registration Countdown!

Registration closes on 17th May 2021 at midnight (UK time)

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds

Plus You'll be backed by a Risk-Free 30-Day Guarantee

Look, you work in the social sector and so do I. So let me be upfront with you.

Data collection is crucial. It's the foundational skill for good data analysis and decision-making. It's crucial for running good programmes. It's crucial for making an impact. It's crucial for keeping your existing funding and securing new funding.

But the capacity to actually use the software well is almost more important than the software itself. Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox is created specifically for addressing this capacity gap, especially for remote and local teams. Your investment into the data-literacy and data-capacity of your global teams and partners is a good one.

But I want to make double-sure you know it’s a good investment. If you (or one of your team) starts the course, does the first two modules (where you'll complete an audit of your existing forms and get into the nitty-gritty of validation equations), and still don't think the course is right for you, then just email me, show me you've put in the work, and we'll refund your investment.

*Photo Credit: Image by Carina Chen from Pixabay
Image of smiling girl from Phillipines

Prerequisites, Methodology, and How it All Works

Here's a bit of helpful info

  • This course is a step-by-step video-based training programme meant for existing users of KoboToolbox, who need to improve their basic questionnaire-design skills.

  • On 24th May, you'll get access to Module 1 on the training platform. In total, there are 6 main teaching modules, which are released over 9 weeks. Week 4 and Week 8 are 'Implementation Weeks' - no new lessons will be released, but during these weeks, you will focus on completing and submitting your assignments.

  • You'll need to have your own KoboToolbox account, access to a computer with Excel, the internet, an Android phone or tablet, the ODK Collect or KoboCollect app and a LOVE of data collection.

  • It is structured as a 9-week course. The course instructor will be LIVE on Zoom each week (at two different times to support multiple timezones) to support in a group session. Discussions and support will be given to learners during 9 weeks, up until 29th July 2021.

  • Learners will have a full year of access to the course content online, including all videos, downloadable resources, and support discussions.

  • Learners can expect to spend about 2-3 hours per week on the learning content and assignments.

  • There are two due dates within the course for assignments to be submitted. Assignments will be individually reviewed as part of the certification process.

  • If you're an absolute beginner and have never used KoboToolbox before, the Bonus Course "Getting Started with KoboToolbox" will give you the very basic intro to getting setup. You'll need to put in additional work of your own to play around with the software to figure out question types, etc, as that's not covered directly within Mastering Form Design. So, although 'Mastering Form Design' itself is not designed for absolute beginners, you can definitely challenge yourself and succeed with a bit of extra work up front! About 10% of past students have been new to KoboToolbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much time do I need to take the course?

    You'll get access to modules and lessons on a weekly basis.

    It might take you approximately 2-5 hours per week to complete the course.

    There are about 8 hours of video-teaching in total, which doesn't include you actually putting those topics to use, doing the practice, doing the assignments, or implementing it into your own work. So keep that in mind as you're planning your time.

  • What is required for certification?

    I'm so excited to get students certified! If a student would like a certificate at the end of the course, then there are three basic requirements:

    1) You achieve a 70% passing grade on each module quiz
    2) You submit the assignment for each module and receive a passing grade (but don't worry - I'll help you get there!!)
    3) You participate at least once in the discussion sections in each module, either leaving your own thoughts/comments/questions or helping someone else out.

    There are two deadlines in the course (because I've talked to so many students who keep telling me that deadlines help them actually ACHIEVE and get things done):

    1) 20th June 2021 - all tests and assignments for Modules 1, 2, and 3 are due
    2) 18th July 2021 - all tests and assignments for Modules 4, 5, and 6 are due

    Let's be honest, life happens. So if you're going to run into problems with the deadlines, then email me for help.

  • Do I need good internet access to the course?

    Yes. The course is video-based and runs on the Thinkific Platform online, so access to internet is necessary for accessing the course materials.

    If you have some staff that do not have good access to internet, there are alternative ways of delivering the course material, which can be arranged.

  • What language is the course in?

    The course is taught in English, however has been designed with the knowledge that almost all learners may speak English as a second language.

    Written materials, captions, and video-based step-by-step tutorials are used to explain all concepts.

    If you have capacity-building needs in another language, please get in touch directly at support@humanitariandatasolutions.com

    Multi-lingual training resources are in the plan for the future.

  • What if I can't afford the course?

    Depending on the size of your organisation and the availability of funding for professional development, you might not be able to afford the course.

    If you work for a local or national organisation, with less than $100,000 annual turnover, you may be eligible for subsidized access, so please email support@humanitariandatasolutions.com

    Otherwise, if you cannot afford the full fee, please email support@humanitariandatasolutions.com to explain your circumstances and a subsidy may be possible, depending on your international funding partnerships.

    If you work for a larger company or international NGO or donor, and would like to subsidize access for staff of small/local organisations, social enterprises, governments, or students who have self-selected that they want and need this course, please do get in touch directly at support@humanitariandatasolutions.com

  • Can I pay for someone else to take this course?

    Yes! In the spirit of the social sector, by all means, please enable smaller and local organisations to access this course by either subsidizing their fee or paying the full amount on their behalf. Please contact support@humanitariandatasolutions.com for help in arranging this.

  • How can I pay for the course?

    If you use the payment method through this website, it allows you to pay by credit card or PayPal.

    Most organisations prefer to receive an invoice and pay by bank transfer. If this is your preferred method of payment, please contact directly support@humanitariandatasolutions.com.

    If you are a team based in a field location, and a headquarters office will pay for your access, please email support@humanitariandatasolutions.com and cc the relevant contact who will arrange payment by bank transfer.

  • If I pay for 6-pack or 25-pack access, how will those 6 or 25 people gain access to the course?

    Once you sign up for either 6-pack or 25-pack bulk access, you will receive an email to ask for contact details of the students. They will be enrolled by the course administrator and will each receive an individual email asking them to sign in to the training platform.

Enroll in Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox Today!

Still "thinking about it"?

You should give Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox a try if you or your organisation is motivated by any of the following:

Mobile data collection being used across all your teams (no more silos!)

If you're like many organisations, you probably have "pockets" of data skills - a team here or a partner there that's really great, and then a lot of other teams or partners that are struggling to keep up.  If they know you're investing in them, and know they have the support they need...then what might be possible?  

Look, I've worked both at field level as well as from a support-office location.  I know it's hard to get consistent skills-training across multiple locations!  It was one of the main reasons this course was created!  If you're committed to investing not just in "beginner" skills for your teams, but also in necessary skills to actually take data to the next level...then this course is aligned in purpose with you.

 "Localisation" is one of your core approaches. 

I'm not going to share with you the necessity or benefit of allowing more response to be driven by local teams.  But from my own experience, I know it's hard to get some funding on board with localisation.  One big reason is the apparent lack of accountability.  Without data skills in the local team - we can't start improving that local-level accountability.  Putting those skills where they're needed will continue to put power where it's most useful.

"Capacity Building" that actually matters.

I was on the phone with a guy a couple years ago, from a local organisation, and he voiced to me his frustration that the capacity building he was actually receiving was stuff he didn't really need or want.  What he wanted was support for information management.  That was one of my earliest conversations that solidified why Humanitarian Data Solutions needed to exist, and why training in Information Management skills was what to invest energy in.  Because it's capacity building in a topic that doesn't frequently get supported with good training.

There are too many capacity building courses that don't make a difference in day-to-day operations.  Mastering Form Design in KoboToolbox is practical, driven by feedback from local staff themselves from around the world, and hopefully aligns with a strong capacity building approach.

I personally cannot wait to support you and your team members and partners over the next 6 weeks in advancing your KoboToolbox skills...

Being introduced to "ODK" (what KoboToolbox is built on) many years ago literally changed my life.

I've experienced first hand what it feels like to be scrambling without enough data, and how "icky" it felt to report numbers and impact that weren't reflective of reality.

On the other hand, I've also experienced the flip side, where we had so much GOOD (and TIMELY) data, that our existing programmes were super-responsive to those we served, and donors wanted to expand their partnerships with us.

But it takes time, effort, and investment into your people to make "good data" happen. I would love it if you and your partners would join me in Mastering Form Design for KoboToolbox.

I look forward to meeting you personally inside Mastering Form Design.

ALL my best,

Janna

Mastering Form Design

For yourself, your teams, and your partners