ODK is a suite of state of the art open source electronic data capture tools maintained by a collaborative global community.

The LSHTM Global Health Analytics group has set up an ODK service to help scientific researchers use ODK in their projects. This service is available on a pay-what-you-can basis to anyone working at LSHTM, or collaborating with LSHTM researchers on research that can benefit global health. This includes studies focussed on human health, one-health, environmental and ecological research; as well as public health interventions, outbreak response and clinical trials.

The cornerstone of this project is an ODK server hosted at LSHTM which allows researchers to submit data electronically from anywhere in the world to a safe and secure server environment that is hosted on our institutional IT infrastructure.

In order to minimise costs to the end user, we also provide access to a “Device Library”, a pool of Android devices, GPS loggers, Fingerprint readers and other hardware tools that we can lend to LSHTM staff & students.

We are happy to undertake equitable collaborations with third parties who represent groups outside the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Interested parties can contact us at Groups looking for commercial ODK server provisions are encouraged to seek support from our friends at and

Figure 1 : ODK functions both off-grid and online. Data is collected in the field on smartphones or tablets and sent securely to a server at LSHTM, where it is aggregated and can then be downloaded from the server for analysis. Data from ODK is compatible with R, STATA and other data tools and is an effective tool for geospatial mapping.

Training & Getting Started

To request access to our ODK servers and learn some important things about our local policies, please start by reading our short user guide. Comprehensive information about how to use ODK can be found at ODK’s main documentation site.

Pay What You Can

We operate our service on a tiered Pay What You Can (PWYC) model.

You can apply for a server and you will not have to pay for it if you are unable to do so. We do however encourage all grant funded researchers to make a contribution to the PWYC fund. This service is not for profit and the money that you contribute will be used to keep the system going, to develop new services and systems, to replace equipment in our device library. Although there is no maximum or minimum PWYC payment, we provide the following indicative payment guides

Grant funded research projects : £1500 / year

PhD projects (grant funded) : £300 / year

PhD projects (self funded) : £0

MSc projects : £0 (maximum six month period)

Major initiatives/ large scale trials / Multi-centre projects : Contact us

Payments can be made retroactively when grant income is pending and all potential users are encouraged to include a budget line for ODK use on grant applications. We prefer to take a single PWYC payment as we have limited resources for management and administration of this fund.

When you complete the ODK request form, you will be asked if you would like to make a PWYC payment by inter account transfer. The internal project code for the ODK support fund is ITCR052210.

For primarily external (Non LSHTM) projects we anticipate that users will contribute more substantial amounts to the PWYC fund. This amount will be agreed using a co-pricing strategy.


We request that you acknowledge our support in research papers and reports that come from studies using our services. If you are happy to do so, please paste the following text in to the acknowledgments section of your outputs. “Electronic data solutions were provided by LSHTM Global Health Analytics (”

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