Longitudinal population monitoring using Entities in ODK central

1. What is the issue? Please be detailed.

Can entities be used to monitor a population in a designated region over time ? Here are a few of the key elements of the problem :

  1. Initial baseline data collection of all locations (dwellings) and individuals. A few projects also like to keep track of families (households) and the relations in the family. Locations, individuals, and households are data entities that should persist across multiple data collection iterations. Individuals are associated with a location and sometimes to a household.

  2. Followup visits to a location may result in updates to the location, individuals, and households. Individuals may be born, die, or move. Locations can be abandoned. In addition, some events (like pregnancy) may be recorded during a visit. In some projects, internal movement in the study area is important to keep track of (individual A moves from location 1 to location 2).

  3. It is useful to have the current location and household of an individual readily available (in the individual entity record ?). Specifically, can the individual entity have a reference to a location entity and possibly a household entity ?

  4. Ideally, all individuals in a location could be listed when a field worker visits the location. Even more ideal would be to have a hierarchy of region/subregion/locations where only locations within a subregion could be accessible.

  5. For reference, one central purpose is to determine the total number of person days of "risk" in a region during a user-specified time interval. The longitudinal data about individuals and their changes through time contained in the various forms must be sufficient to make this calculation. Projects will layer research studies on top of this longitudinal core of data

2. What steps can we take to reproduce this issue?

Not relevant

3. What have you tried to fix the issue?

  1. Reviewed the documentation about entities, reviewed XLSForms
  2. Attempted to installed ODK central (failed) and posted problem to forum
  3. Searched forum posts about entities