Success Using ODK for Cannabis Dispensary Surveys in Los Angeles County, CA

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share a success story of ours. From October 2018 to January 2019, and from June to July 2019, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Center for Health Impact Evaluation (CHIE) conducted two waves of covert observational premise surveys at 189 cannabis dispensaries throughout Los Angeles County (you can read more on the methodology for the first round in our health impact assessment on cannabis regulation and the second in this issue brief). I had first used ODK Collect while working for the CDC in 2015 to collect data on vaccine supplies and patient registers from health facilities in remote parts of Sierra Leone, and suggested that it could be used in this scenario too. The Center agreed that the application would be a great way to discreetly collect and encrypt data on mobile phones, which we then sent to a web server and decrypted for later analysis. ODK was effortless for staff to use and allowed for quick revisions to survey tools. Any time that the team encountered something we needed to troubleshoot, we were able to easily access this vibrant online support community who were eager to assist. Also since it is an open source tool, the Center saved time and money that normally would have been spent procuring and learning how to use new software. All in all, ODK Collect was a boon to CHIE's data collection efforts, and something we hope to use in the future!


Thanks for sharing this @fwashburn. I love that ODK was able to work for you in such different contexts!