Innovations in ODK: Improving Data Collection for Agriculture and Scaling to the Global Community

webinar speaker
Yaw Anokwa (Co-Founder and CEO, ODK)

Jawoo Koo (Geospatial Data CoP/IFPRI) and Daniel Jimenez (Data-Driven Agronomy CoP/The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT)

Open Data Kit (ODK) is the world’s most popular open-source data collection platform. ODK is the standard for mobile data collection for leading social impact organizations. With more than a million users in all countries globally (and even at the International Space Station), it’s hard to overstate the impact of ODK on open data and development. Agricultural research is one of the areas that benefited from ODK and its family of mobile-based data collection tools (e.g., KoBoToolbox and Ona). 

For example, three recent ODK-enabled CGIAR studies are:

Tonnang, H.E., Balemi, T., Masuki, K.F., Mohammed, I., Adewopo, J., Adnan, A.A., Mudereri, B.T., Vanlauwe, B. and Craufurd, P., 2020. Rapid acquisition, management, and analysis of spatial Maize (Zea mays L.) phenological data—Towards ‘Big Data’ for agronomy transformation in AfricaAgronomy10(9), p.1363.


Bell, A., Ward, P., Tamal, M.E.H. and Killilea, M., 2019. Assessing recall bias and measurement error in high-frequency social data collection for human-environment researchPopulation and Environment40(3), pp.325-345.


Ouma, T., Kavoo, A., Wainaina, C., Ogunya, B., Karanja, M., Kumar, P.L. and Shah, T., 2019. Open data kit (ODK) in crop farming: mobile data collection for seed yam tracking in Ibadan, NigeriaJournal of Crop Improvement33(5), pp.605-619. by IITA


In this webinar, jointly organized between CGIAR CoP on Geospatial Data and Data-Driven Agronomy, Yaw Anokwa, the Co-Founder and CEO of ODK (and a Jedi!), showed exciting new features and services (ODK Cloud) in ODK that will help data collection efforts in agricultural research and offer a glimpse into its future roadmap. Yaw also shared behind-the-scene stories on ODK’s evolution and scaling to the millions of user community over the last decade – while overcoming many challenges of managing an open-source software project along the way.