Samir Souidi: Promoting Excellence in the Workplace

Blog

April 24, 2017

Samir Souidi: Promoting Excellence in the Workplace

Samir Souidi, Enterprise Systems/Software Architect, Population Council

As we get ready for this year’s Annual Conference, where we’ll give out our annual Operational Excellence Awards, we’re following up with Population Council’s Enterprise Systems/Software Architect Samir Souidi, who won last year’s Operational Excellence Award: Information Technology. Samir was recognized for his work in developing a simple, technically elegant, and immediately updatable Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) survey system – the first ever deployed in refugee camps – to enable researchers to gather critical data from refugees, even if the survey respondents cannot read or write.

Q: Tell us how you felt when you learned that you had been selected as an Operational Excellence Award winner.

I was very surprised when I heard the announcement. But immediately after I sensed the weight of this award, I was very honored and humbled to have received it, because I was representing a group of my coworkers and researchers who are very smart and talented people. They are very passionate about using technology to improve and save lives of underprivileged populations. Just to be associated with the staff at my organization is more precious than anything.

Tell us a little bit about your relationship with the people who nominated you for this award. How do you work together?

I was nominated by James Sailer and Stan Mierzwa. James Sailer moved up to a different role at Population Council since I received the award, so I do not have a direct work relationship with him. In contrast, I still work with Stan Mierzwa. Since the award, we have been getting more donor-funded projects related to ACASI/CAPI data collection, which is unique for an IT unit in a non-profit organization. Several new organizations and researchers want to collaborate with us on using our data collection software.

Have things changed for you at work since you received this award?

Our work before and after the award was always focused on getting high quality data collection and collaboration/communication with the researchers. The award brings a credibility to our work, but it did not change the way we do it.

What are the biggest operational issues/challenges you’re currently dealing with at work?

The biggest challenge is to stay current with the fast-changing IT trends – constantly experimenting and trying to find the best solutions and IT trends that could be integrated with our software in order to keep delivering high and fast quality data collection.

Has this recognition in any way created or fostered an environment where excellence in operations is recognized within your organization?

Yes, indeed. Besides working on the organization’s programmatic projects, my co-workers are looking up to me to deliver the same quality solution to projects related to Population Council’s operational processes, such as with assistance in implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. I’ve also been heavily involved in designing and developing new reporting solutions using new highly technical and analytical tools to help our global Financial Managers to better track their budgets and expenses. This has been an increase in my responsibilities, which have been provided to me in the past year.

Samir Souidi is an enterprise systems/software architect in the Population Council's Information Technology department. He has been with Population Council since 2008. Read more about ACASI.  

The InsideNGO community is full of stories of exemplary work. Do you know an individual or operational team who is having a significant impact in your organization? You have until May 18 to nominate them for an Operational Excellence Award. Please contact akime@insidengo.org with any questions.

## Comments

Login to join the discussion.