SurveyCTO Coding Practices

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This article discuss solutions to common issues in the SurveyCTO programming language. For a general introduction to how to structure your approach to CAPI programming or best practices settings, see the Questionnaire Programming topic.

Read First

All coding examples linked to in this section are stored in Google Drive. SurveyCTO also allows you to pull this code directly to your server, using the URL of the Google Sheet (alternatively, you can copy the code to Excel).


Use a lot of groups but do not over use them. In general, groups are used to fulfill one of the purposes below:

Repeat Groups

Repeat groups are a group that is repeated at least once. Thus most properties that apply to a regular group also apply to a repeat group.

Choice Lists

Choice lists are the answer options an enumerator can choose from in a select one or select multiple question. They are listed in the choices in the SurveyCTO questionnaire. While the programming language ODK that SurveyCTO builds on has very few restrictions on how you can code your options, there are choice list best practices that matters for data quality when using the data from these question in for example Excel.

The choice lists can also be dynamically populated by answers already given by the respondents.

Choice Filters


Additional Resources

  • list here other articles related to this topic, with a brief description and link