The shrinking worlds of adolescent girls

One of the research projects we’re watching closely is the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS) based out of the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. We asked GEAS Senior Research Program Coordinator Lydia Animosa, MSPH, about what they’ve learned so far about early adolescence from their 15 study sites around the world and if they have any lessons for researchers embarking on complex, multi-year studies.

Going digital at Brown University

In the past few months, we’ve been developing our online simulation toolkit so that faculty can digitize their public policy simulations. We checked in with Joshua Yardley about his experience using SurveyCTO to run a pandemic simulation in the “Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis” course he teaches at Brown University and the opportunities he sees for using online simulations in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

From online simulation to classroom discussion

After a successful pilot of a pandemic simulation using SurveyCTO earlier this year, members of our team had the pleasure of participating in its implementation as part of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) module “Fundamentals of Policy Analysis and Decision Making,” a required course for 250 Masters in Public Policy students.

Save the date! Join us at HumTech2016

This year, join SurveyCTO from June 7-9 at HumTech2016, the annual conference that brings “together scientists, engineers, technologists and policymakers from across academic, government, industry and non-government organizations to discuss, share and promote current research and recent accomplishments across all aspects of technology, from science to systems, that have a global humanitarian impact.”

Survey Design for Quality Data – Part 2

Let’s pick up where we left off in Part 1 of our survey design for quality data series, which was inspired by Dobility founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Robert’s presentation in the TechChange course “Technology for Data Collection and Survey Design.” Lesson 1 focused on designing your survey with empathy for field staff and respondents. Lesson 2 highlighted SurveyCTO tools for building in relevance and constraints. With Lesson 3, we’ll jump into a number of ways that SurveyCTO enables you to automate monitoring and workflow.

Survey Design for Quality Data – Part 1

Last week, Dobility founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Robert presented on how to design surveys for quality data in the TechChange Course “Technology for Data Collection and Survey Design.” We thought it would be fun to share highlights from his talk with the larger community of mobile data collection users (while also showing off some of the cool ways that SurveyCTO can help you design smart surveys from day one).

Quality data key to achieving global goals

There is a critical difference between data and quality data. In this new era of #2030NOW, we must push for more than numbers that fill spreadsheets; we must push for good, quality data that reflects the needs of all members of society—young and old. We need data that covers conflict-ridden areas, refugee camps, and remote, disconnected areas. Read how inclusive, high-quality data will be key to achieving the new Global Goals…

Learning from SurveyCTO users

As SurveyCTO has grown, so has the range of projects for which the platform is being used to collect high-quality data, evaluate programs, and conduct research. Who is using SurveyCTO? And how have they leveraged the platform to get more accurate, real-time data? Below are a few case studies from our users…

Real-time project monitoring and visualization

SurveyCTO allows you to publish incoming data directly from the server to Google Sheets (formerly known as Google Spreadsheets), so you can create dashboards that present up-to-the-minute summaries of your data. You can then use these dashboards to monitor the progress of your surveys, share real-time results with your team, and more. This post shares a simple example.

Electronic vs. paper-based data collection

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI or just “electronic”) and Paper and Pencil Interviewing (PAPI or just “paper-based”) are two different methods of conducting surveys and collecting data more generally. PAPI is the traditional method in which an enumerator fills in a paper form or questionnaire. CAPI is the newer method, gaining in popularity, where the enumerator uses a tablet, smartphone, or laptop computer to move through the interview and record responses…

v1.40 out, with freedom to revise and publish at will

The theme of our v1.40 release is freedom, because our development focus was on the removal of limitations. There’s nothing too flashy or sexy about it – we’re leaving that for our 2.0 release (which is already in development) – but we expect that the greater freedoms in v1.40 will lead to significant, potentially-dramatic quality-of-life improvements for many of our users…

Integrating with

The folks at open[Fn] have just released a integration for SurveyCTO and other ODK-based systems, and we’re very excited to have this new option available to our users. ( is a ridiculously powerful cloud platform that can be used for data monitoring, visualization, and management, priced at extremely steep discounts for nonprofits.) …