OIAI conducts investigations to examine and determine the veracity of all allegations received concerning corrupt and fraudulent practices and allegations of misconduct.
The Investigations Section aims to foster greater transparency and accountability within UNICEF and to protect the organization's human and financial resources by investigating, among other things, misconduct in the workplace, including prohibited sexual conduct, fraud and corruption.
Our Management Team
Magdalena Zold, Deputy Director
Magda joined UNICEF after leading the Latin America and Caribbean Region investigative team in the World Bank’s Vice-Presidency of Integrity (INT) since 2012. She previously worked in the World Bank Group’s Department of Institutional Integrity, as an independent consultant providing technical assistance to investigative entities, including the World Bank. Earlier in her career, she worked in Argentina as a governmental anticorruption investigator and an attorney in criminal law practice. Magda trained as a lawyer in Argentina and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from Columbia University, New York, where she was a Human Rights Fellow.
Amanda Aikman, Chief, Strategy, Intake and Analysis Unit
Amanda joined UNICEF from a New York-based law firm, where she represented companies and individuals with respect to criminal and civil enforcement matters, conducted cross-border internal investigations, and advised on anti-corruption and other global compliance issues. She previously worked at the International Labor Organization (ILO), where she supported a technical cooperation programme focused on forced labor and human trafficking. Amanda started her law career as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she investigated and prosecuted global anti-corruption violations and white collar crimes. Amanda received her law degree from Yale Law School and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University.
Timothy Holford, Chief, Headquarters Investigations Unit
Tim is an attorney admitted to the High Court of South Africa. In his previous role, he led the Office of the Prosecutor’s Investigation Team for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the Beirut Field Office. Earlier, he served as an investigator for the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission and as a member of the Military Analysis Team of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He began his career as a private sector attorney specializing in commercial litigation, insolvency and liquidations. He holds Bachelor of Business Science and LLB degrees from the University of Cape Town.
Maggie Abou-Rizk, Chief, Investigations Unit, Budapest
Maggie is a qualified lawyer admitted to practice in Australia. Her experience includes leading investigations, litigation, legal advisory work, and policy review. She has over 15 years of experience spanning United Nations organizations, the private sector and national government. She has worked for the World Food Programme, International Atomic Energy Agency, and the International Organization for Migration, amongst other international organizations. She speaks English, Arabic and Italian.
The Investigations Section investigates reports of violations of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) policies, procedures and administrative issuances. It is also empowered to initiate proactive investigations to assess the risk of potential fraud in high-risk areas.
OIAI conducts investigations that involve UNICEF staff, consultants, non-staff personnel and institutional contractors. OIAI’s investigations cover all forms of misconduct including, but not limited to: fraud; corruption; workplace harassment; sexual harassment; sexual exploitation and abuse; abuse of authority; or failure to observe prescribed regulations, rules, relevant administrative issuances and standards of conduct.
An OIAI investigation is an administrative fact-finding activity, which means collecting evidence to either support or refute the reported violations. The focus is on possible misconduct by individuals and prohibited practices by vendors/third parties; however, some systemic issues might also be analysed at the same time.
1. How do I report?
You may report suspected misconduct, fraud or other wrongdoing to the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations using a method below:
By email: email@example.com
By mail: All addressed mail should be marked "Private and Confidential" to:
Director - Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) - Investigations Section
United Nations Children's Fund
Three United Nations Plaza
New York, New York - 10017 USA
If you are requesting protection against retaliation (whistle-blower protection), or if you need confidential advice and guidance on ethics-related matters, please contact the Ethics Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. What should I report?
In order to provide the best opportunity for investigators to make a speedy assessment, kindly provide a detailed account of the allegation, including details (to the extent available) of:
- Nature of the alleged misconduct being reported and how it was committed;
- Persons and/or organizations involved in the alleged wrongdoing;
- Timing and location of the alleged actions;
- Basis of the allegation - whether based on suspicion or available evidence; and if evidence (documents, etc.) exists, please forward such evidence to our office.
3. What happens after I make a report?
The information will be reviewed by the investigators, who will make a determination of the most suitable course of action.
4. Can I remain anonymous?
You can remain anonymous; however, in assessing the allegations, the investigators may need to contact you for additional information or clarifications on the reported allegation(s). As far as anonymous information is concerned, investigators would need to identify corroborative information before a formal investigation commences.
5. Will my identity be kept confidential if I provide my personal details to OIAI?
All investigations are confidential, and the identities of victims, subjects and witnesses will be protected. However, confidentiality can never be absolute based on the progression of the investigation.
Investigations Hotline - Report Fraud or Abuse
Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement
The Office maintains a quality assurance and improvement programme that covers all aspects of investigation activities and lifecycles. This includes internal quality assessments that involve ongoing performance monitoring and periodic reviews, and external quality assessments that are usually conducted every five years by a qualified external independent reviewer or review team.
An External Quality Assessment (EQA) review for our investigation function was done in 2021 which concluded that the “the investigation function, as managed by OIAI, is in conformity with generally accepted standards for investigations in international organizations as reflected in the Uniform Principles and Guidelines for Investigations" and "that the investigation function, as managed by OIAI, complies with the Charter of OIAI and with other UNICEF Legislative Instruments."