LSHTM Emergency and Epidemic Data Kit


Infectious disease outbreak emergencies and humanitarian emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent their effects from worsening. In the context of an outbreak, rapid mapping, data collection, analysis and response can limit the extent to which infection can continue to spread. Good emergency management starts with good preparedness and one of the most important things that we must be prepared for is to be able to rapidly equip field teams to collect huge amounts of data in a short time period, to support analysts to make sense of that data and then to communicate the findings to people who need to use the data to make important decisions.

At the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine we have been using Android tablets and an app called “Open Data Kit” (ODK) to collect data for more than 100 research studies ( . We believe that this and other software could be ideal ‘ready-to-go’ options for emergency response data collection. In this new project we are developing electronic data tools for use in outbreak emergency situations. We will not only make the ODK system even better than it already is, but we will add extra apps, software and protocols that will make geographical mapping much faster and which will allow us to add web-surveys and other data collection methods to the list of ways we can gather data. We also plan to automate a lot of the hard work at the back end so that data and results get where they need to be much faster.


Who can use it?

Any group or agency involved in humanitarian emergency response and relief work is invited to discuss their data needs with us.


What can we do?

Host 2048-bit encrypted data on our UK-based secure double fire-walled servers.

Conceptualise and co-develop bespoke data systems for use in emergency responses.

Design and test electronic data collection forms for use with Open Data Kit and Enketo web-forms.

Lend Android devices to use with our system.

Support with rapid mapping and geographical information systems.

Development of reporting mechanisms, including semi-automated analysis and reporting.

Expert statistical analysis and modelling.


How much does it cost?


We’ll provide support to all our users but we won’t charge anyone for our services, so anyone can use them.

We will also make all of our outputs such as papers, computer programs, methods and training materials available for free (on open licenses) via the internet.


What’s the timeline for a new deployment?

We try to have servers active within 24 hours.

Form development can be time consuming when the data structures are complex, but for many projects we anticipate that we will be able to have everything up and running in between 24 and 96 hours.



Collaborating Partners

LSHTM Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases

The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team

LSHTM Information and Technology Services

LSHTM Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health

LSHTM Clinical Trials Unit


The LSHTM Emergency and Epidemic Data Kit team are :

Chrissy h Roberts : Associate Professor of genetic epidemiology

Michael Marks : NIHR Clinical Lecturer in infectious diseases and general medicine

Haleema Shakur Still : Associate Professor and Co-Director of LSHTM Clinical Trials Unit

Roz Eggo : Assistant professor of infectious disease modelling in public health epidemiology

Conall Watson : Clinical consultant in health protection and global public health at Public Health England

Chris Grundy : Assistant professor of geographical information systems

Patrick Keating : Research Fellow with the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)

Matthew MacGregor : Professional Services Software and Desktop Services Manager

Jimmy Whitworth : Professor of International Public Health


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