Looking for ODK-X developer for longitudinal anthropological data collection

Hello, ODK Community.

My colleague and I are looking for developers to build a custom ODK-X software solution to support our longitudinal anthropological data collection.

We collect longitudinal data from rural villages in Ethiopia. The people we work with are mostly subsistence pastoralists – they are mostly nonliterate, they do not engage in much wage labor, and very few have ID cards or bank accounts, etc. Villages may be comprised of 100-200 households with each household home to 2-7 individuals. Villages are ethnically homogenous, but we work in multiple such villages, encompassing different ethnic groups.

We collect a variety of social and biological data, mostly using survey methods.

We need to reidentify people based on names and photographs. So, a key feature we require across different forms is a good fuzzy search of existing names, to match the current participant via their previously taken photograph.

The basic process goes a bit like this:

  1. We first survey each household in a community, completing a “household survey.” This includes the geolocation of the house, other measures of the house (e.g., is there a solar panel, material wealth items owned at the household level), and the names of the household heads/homeowners. We also take a photo of the house.
  2. We then census the entire village, completing our “individual survey” where we collect the basic, non-changing data on each individual, such as their full name (and all of their names, because actually, names change in these communities), the names of their parents, their clan, their place of birth, etc. We also ask questions about residency (e.g., who is the household head of the home you are sleeping at now), so we can associate each individual with one (or more) houses. So, at this step, individuals are related to households, and households are related to a specific village.
  3. We then want to be able to do multiple subsequent surveys (e.g., social network survey, 24-hour food recall survey, wealth survey) among the previously censused individuals, and associate each of these surveys with their record in the “individual survey.” For each of these survey forms, we need to query the “individual survey” database via a fuzzy search of names and confirm the link via the “individual survey” photograph.

If anyone is interested in working on this project or can recommend potential developers, we are collecting quotes.

Thanks so much.


Your project sounds fascinating and quite intricate! The endeavor of collecting longitudinal anthropological data in rural Ethiopian villages seems both challenging and rewarding. The unique aspects of working with subsistence pastoralists, their nonliterate nature, and the absence of conventional identification elements like ID cards or bank accounts present an interesting set of challenges.

The need for a custom ODK-X software solution to manage your data collection process, including features like fuzzy search for names and photo reidentification across different surveys, is quite specialized. It requires a tailored approach that ensures accurate data linkage despite the complexities of changing names within the communities.
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Given the specific requirements, finding developers experienced in ODK-X and capable of handling these nuances might be key. I’d recommend reaching out to communities familiar with ODK-X development or platforms that specialize in connecting project owners with skilled developers