EMPOWER - Programme for learning tech skills in humanities/social sciences

EMPOWER - Programme for learning tech skills in humanities/social sciences

Actions and Detail Panel


Want to learn new digital technologies and skills to enhance your research? Not sure where to start? Follow our 8-step programme to learn!

About this event


ESCALATOR was established in 2020 to support the development of an inclusive and active community of practice in Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences in South Africa.

  • ESCALATOR offers a variety of opportunities for researchers and students affiliated with South African research organisations.
  • EMPOWER is specifically designed for women working in Humanities, Social Sciences and related fields who are affiliated with research organisations in South Africa.

We realise our community has diverse experiences, backgrounds and needs when it comes to using digital/computational skills in research. Over the past few months the ESCALATOR team has been considering carefully how to best support our community of women in humanities and social sciences in South Africa and it is with great excitement that we're launching our 8-step programme in May 2022!

The programme is based on the premises of intentional learning. We know we can't possibly teach everyone in our community all the skills they need to be successful in their research, but we can help foster good learning practices.

Essentially, we want to equip community members with skills that will support their learning now and in the future.

Please join us if you identify as a woman, work in the context of humanities or social sciences, and are affiliated with a South African research organisation.

Lessons learned from this round of the EMPOWER track will be shared and applied to develop other tracks open to a broader audience later in 2022.


The programme offers an 8-step plan for learning new digital/computational skills.

In May 2022 we will kick off by looking at the plethora of tools that are available to researchers across the research lifecycle. The introductory presentation will feature 101 Innovations - a project that evaluated software and workflows used throughout the research lifecycle. Resources produced by the 101 Innovations team are available under open licences and can be re-used by community members in their learning and training.

Subsequently we will assist participants to evaluate their current workflows, looking at the tools and methodologies they are using, exploring alternatives, and inviting community members to share their experiences. We will share templates to guide participants through this exercise.

The next step would be for each participant to identify new digital tools or methodologies that they would like to learn.

We will support participants to prioritise the list of new skills and tools to choose a single focus area.

By applying aspects of intentional learning, we will support participants to develop a learning plan. A template with guiding questions and a schedule has been developed and will be shared with each participant. Each participant can decide which level of skill they want to learn, how much time they can commit, how they will apply the new skills in their work, and when they want to move on to the next item on their prioritised list.

Throughout the next few months, we will provide a scaffold where community members can continue to learn and grow. We will help to find learning resources and opportunities, find answers and additional support within our communities, and check in regularly to maintain connections and provide support and encouragement.

In December, we will invite participants to share their experiences, showcase what they've achieved with their new skills, and plan for 2023.

EMPOWER - Programme for learning tech skills in humanities/social sciences image
EMPOWER - Programme for learning tech skills in humanities/social sciences image


Over the next eight months, we will host bi-monthly meetings. The first meeting of the month will include a presentation about a specific topic. The second meeting will be a collaborative co-working session where participants can ask questions, discuss the previous presentation(s), work on their skills, collaborate with others, and get help.

Presentations will be recorded and shared via YouTube to enhance accessibility.

All sessions are optional to attend.

Community members will be encouraged to join the DHCSSza Slack workspace and continue asynchronous discussions, ask questions, share resources, and more via the #champions-empower-track channel.

EMPOWER - Programme for learning tech skills in humanities/social sciences image


The programme is specifically targeted at women in humanities and social sciences in South Africa who wants to learn and enhance their digital and computational research skills. The programme caters for any experience level: from complete novices to those with advanced skills.

Folks from any career stage are welcome to join including postgraduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, early career researchers, and experienced researchers. We also welcome women in the libraries, IT, research support positions, and related areas.


19 May @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Introduction to tools and workflows across the research lifecycle at the hand of 101 Innovations ~ Bianca Kramer & Jeroen Bosman (Utrecht University Library & 101 Innovations)

26 May @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

9 June @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for DISCOVERY

23 June @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

7 July @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for ANALYSIS

21 July @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

11 August @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for WRITING

25 August @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

8 September @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for PUBLICATION

22 September @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

6 October @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for OUTREACH

20 October @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

10 November @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Software and practices for ASSESSMENT

24 November @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Co-working session

8 December @ 11:30 - 13:00 - Presentations from participants about what they learned, how they learned, with whom they learned, what they accomplished, and what’s next.


  • ESCALATOR website: https://escalator.sadilar.org
  • EMPOWER webpage: https://empower.sadilar.org/champions/empower
  • Communication channels: https://escalator.sadilar.org/connect/
  • Contact programme team: escalator@talarify.co.za

Share with friends