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Side Meeting at the International Population Conference in Cape Town

Training workshop on


Social Media, Big Data and Digital Demography


Cape Town, South Africa, Sunday 29 October 2017, 8:30-16:00

at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town.


This training workshop is organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Big Data and Population Processes 
as a preconference workshop at the International Population Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 29 October-4 November 2017.



Deadline for applications: 15 August 2017.




Workshop facilitator: Emilio Zagheni (University of Washington, Seattle) 


This training workshop will focus on accessing Social Media data and analyzing them with Demographic Methods. The workshop is intended to:

  • provide an introduction to tools like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for collecting data from social media (e.g., Twitter tweets and Facebook Public Pages or Facebook Adverts Manager);
  • present examples of demographic methods that can be used to gain insights from these data and discuss recent developments in the emerging field of digital demography; 
  • favor communication and interaction among scholars and students interested in digital demography and the so-called "Data Revolution".  



There will be a mix of hands-on guided exercises/tutorials and introductory presentations about (i) key computational concepts as well as (ii) ongoing research projects that leverage social media data for demographic research. 



Participants are expected to bring their own laptops, with R and Rstudio installed.  Basic familiarity with the statistical software R is expected. For a brief tutorial/refresher about R, see

The workshop will be held in English; no translation will be provided. Participants should have a working knowledge and should be able to understand and communicate in English.



The number of participants in this training course is limited to 70 people. An initial deadline for registering or applying for funding support has been set for 15 August 2017.

  • An online registration fee of 50 euros is required of participants from high-income countries to cover lunch and tea breaks. A reduced registration fee of 25 euros is requested from participants from low- and middle-income countries.
  • Limited financial support is available for participants from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • 50% of places are reserved for applicants from low- and middle-income countries in low- and middle-income countries. 


Please click here to register for this workshop (requiring paying the registration fee).


Applications for funding closed on 16 August.