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Helping fraud prevention and protection in UN children’s charity

The Head of The Open University Business School (OUBS) has addressed a UNICEF event in the Czech Republic on how to detect and prevent fraud.

Professor Devendra Kodwani was a keynote speaker at the annual UNICEF (otherwise known as the United Nations Children’s Fund) Enablers event in Prague which ran from 11-14 June.

A number of scandals have rocked the charity sector recently, most notably involving Oxfam, and theft, corruption and fraud are all issues being taken seriously by an organisation which is run by the UN from its headquarters in New York. Partnered by a network of 34 national committees which are independent bodies, UNICEF’s mission is to provide humanitarian and developmental assistance to children, and their mothers, in developing countries.

Dev spoke to an audience of finance, IT and HR senior executives drawn from these national committees and from more than 30 countries on ‘Internal controls and corporate governance to detect and prevent frauds in not-for-profit organizations’ before taking questions and joining a panel discussion.

Image of Professor Devendra Kodwani

I was aiming to increase the awareness of frauds and financial irregularities, including asset misappropriation, by reviewing the types and consequences of frauds that take place in charities / not-for profit organisations. This was by highlighting research in the role of culture and corporate governance and their effectiveness in curbing frauds in charities. As well as hearing from an academic perspective on how frauds are most commonly discovered and how employees can be empowered to prevent fraud, the audience shared their views of good and less effective practices to detect and prevent frauds in organisations.

This was a good opportunity for me to build some OU networks as UNICEF is a respected world organisation. For example, I discussed some distance learning opportunities with some African representatives who were interested in hearing what we have to offer.

Professor Devendra Kodwani, Executive Dean

Click to watch a video from the event.

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