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MDC frequent terms

MDC: Refers to "Mobile Data Collection" or mobile technology (mostly smartphones and tablets) to collect data.

Submission: The submission of a form is sending the data collected (for example on ODK Collect) to the central platform/database (Kobo Toolbox), most often through an internet connection or local network. One submission equals one data entry.

Survey: A survey is a collection of information on a specific topic (most often through a list of questions) from a group of people or a statistical sample of a population.

Webform: A web form is an online page that allows for user input. It mimics a paper document or form, where users fill out particular fields. 

MDC Tdh-related Tools

Enketo: Web form used by many MDC platforms (in particular those of the ODK "world") to preview your forms and to enter data directly on your computer without the use of a smartphone.

Kobo analyser: The Kobo Excel Data Analyser allows users to rapidly analyze data collected through KoBoToolbox in Excel through pre-defined graphs. It is particularly relevant for users with a very basic level in Excel and also for the comparison of answers to different questions or scoring type questions ("what is the first most important risk?", the second, third etc).

Kobo Toolbox: Kobo Toolbox is a free open-source tool for mobile data collection, available to all. It allows you to collect data in the field using mobile devices such as mobile phones or tablets, as well as with paper or computers.

ODK: Open Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools to do Mobile Data Collection. It is one of the most popular MDC solutions.

PowerBI: Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft. It provides interactive visualizations with self-service business intelligence  capabilities, where end users can create reports and dashboards by themselves, without having to depend on information technology staff or database administrators. MDC data can be visualized and analyzed through a Power Bi offline or online dashboard.

uMap: uMap is a platform that lets you quickly create and share a personalized map on line without requiring very advanced skills in cartography. The tool is based on OpenStreetMap and requires an internet connection.


Enumerators: Refers to the "interviewer" or staff in charge of collecting data in the field using paper or mobile devices.

Survey manager: Refers to the person in charge of designing/implementing/following-up the data collection as well as training/managing the enumerators team 

MDC form building standards

Xforms: XForms is an XML format used for defining forms. It is fully compatible with the Kobo form builder.

XLS forms: XLSForm is a form standard that can be used directly in Excel to simplify the creation of forms. The XLSForm is then converted to an XForm when the form is put on Kobo (although you as user don't see this!)

XML: Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. Commonly used in MDC to code forms that will be used in MDC apps.

Data protection

Encryption: Encryption is the method by which plain text or any other type of data is converted from a readable form to an encoded version that can only be decoded by another entity if they have access to a decryption key. Encryption is one of the most important methods for providing data security, especially for end-to-end protection of data transmitted across networks.

Personal Identifiable Information (PII): Personal Identifiable Information (PII) include all types of information that allow for the identification of an individual (this can be highly contextual). The PII are not necessarily limited to names and addresses, but, depending on the context, also other kinds of information (including sensitive information) can allow for the identification of a person.

Sensitive data: Sensitive data is data about an individual that can be used in discriminatory way, such as (source:

(a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,

(b) his political opinions,

(c) his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,

(d) whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),

(e) his physical or mental health or condition,

(f) his sexual life,

(g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or

(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.