What do I need?


An outline of the ODK Service at LSHTM: Introduction to ODK@LSHTM


IMPORTANT UPDATE 2018-05-22 : Encryption

ODK form submission takes place over an encrypted connection to the LSHTM server, but it is additionally necessary to establish more stringent encryption.

We require ALL LSHTM Open Research Kit data to be fully encrypted.

Users who do not implement encryption within their forms may be in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679


Instructions for how to implement encryption can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note that data sets which use pseudonyms are not exempt from GDPR. All health data relating to individual, potentially identifiable individual humans is considered sensitive data under GDPR.



Requesting use of the ODK @ LSHTM Service

Complete the ODK Server Request Form

If you want to use the ODK@LSHTM Device pool then send an ODK Device Request Form


Survey Design

Design your survey for ODK: Introduction to designing surveys with XLSFORM

Refer to the encryption documentation to set up security within your XLSdorm

We recommend writing forms using XLSForm in Excel and converting them to ODK-XML Files using XLSForm Offline:

Guide to using XLSForms

XLSForm Offline



Setting up your devices and server

Setup your devices and the server to work together: ODK@LSHTM User Manual

Set your devices up for the field: Guidelines for setting up a tablet for use in the field





Form encryption on the Android devices is simple but does require some setup.

Using this approach, the forms will be encrypted as soon as they are finished. Decryption is performed only after data is downloaded to a local machine (that can be non-network connected). We also recommend that decryption keys are stored on solid state media such as encrypted USB drives.

Please use the links below to obtain instructions for how to set up encryption on

LSHTM networked PCs  : encryption_LSHTM_Network

Mac OS and non LSHTM PCs : encryption_non_LSHTM_machines


Open SSL keys can be generated on your own computer, or can be provided by the LSHTM Open Research Kits team. We will also offer to keep a copy of your keys in our locked safe and on the LSHTM Secure server. Please email : odk@lshtm.ac.uk to arrange for collecting keys.


Instructions here for creating your own keys.

Mac OS : https://rietta.com/blog/2012/01/27/openssl-generating-rsa-key-from-command/

PC : http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/openssl.htm



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