Collecting quickly reliable information in a humanitarian crisis, especially following a natural disaster, is the critical link to saving the lives of the most vulnerable. Understanding the situation, the needs and the gaps is one of the most important task for emergency responders. Often a lack information can result in wrong decisions. KoBoToolbox, developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) together with OCHA, is an open source suite of tools for data collection and analysis in humanitarian emergencies that was built to address this challenge. UNDAC members and INSARAG partners are being trained on the use of Kobo to ensure they are ready to use it in the next emergency response operation. Kobo training sessions are now included in all UNDAC-related courses, such as Induction and Refresher courses, as well as during the INSARAG earthquake exercises, during which USAR teams can use KoBo Toolbox Forms for their assessments.The advantage of this new tool is that it is possible to quickly collect survey data on any device, online or offline. The easiest way is with the Android app, based on OpenDataKit. In addition users also can use “webforms”. That also allows collecting data on iPhones, laptops, or any other device. it is even possible to use the paper version of the INSARAG Forms and transfer the data after returning to your field office via computer.

FCSS will make sure each UNDAC member and INSARAG partner are well aware of this new tool and they are all properly trained to ensure the best of its use in the next disaster response. For more information  contact: Luigi Bruno at: brunol@un.org.