Children and youth’s rights in the argentinean provinces: an application of the achievement possibilities frontier methodology

Aráoz, María Florencia (1,2); Bonacina, Antonella (2) (2018). 'Children and youth's Rights in the Argentinean Provinces: an application of the Achievement Possibilities Frontier methodology' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.


This paper adapts the economic and social rights index (ESRF) developed by Fukuda-Parr, Lawson-Remer and Randolph (2009) to assess the extent to which each of the 24 Argentinean Provinces fulfills the children and youth’s rights obligations set forth in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The proposed Index, called ICDNAr (Índice de Cumplimiento de los Derechos de Niños y Adolescentes ajustado por recursos), focuses on state obligations rather than solely on individual enjoyment of rights; and captures progressive realization of children and youth’s rights subject to maximum available provincial resources. The progressive realization approach recognizes that states have different starting points in their ability to achieve full enjoyment of rights, and a government’s ability to succeed depends, among other things, on the level of its available resources.

It should be noticed that, unlike the prevalent approach, the methodology used to estimate the ICDNAr does not only reflect the perspective of the right holder, also reflect the duty bearer. To do this, we use the “Achievement Possibilities Frontier” (AFP) approach, proposed by Fukuda-Parr et al. (2009), which consist on estimate an achievement possibility frontier for each indicator used to estimate the dimensions of rights, that determines the maximum level of achievement possible on each indicator at a given per capita income level, based on the highest level of the indicator historically achieved by any province at that per capita GDP level. We also explore alternative models to the original AFP proposed.

The ICDNAr uses census data and provincial administrative data, and the dimensions of rights explored are: the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, right to proper nutrition, right to education, to special protection, right to an adequate housing, right to participation and right to benefit from social security. The opening of the ICDNAr by dimensions of rights enables to identify areas the provinces are doing a more efficient work and in which they need to concentrate greater efforts, a valuable tool that contributes to public policies.

To estimate each dimension we use different socioeconomic indicators from the period 1993 - 2014, such as the percentage of live births that do not have low birth weight -more than 2.5 kg- to estimate the right to an adequate nutrition. Then, we standardize the scores by computing the percentage of the feasible level achieved with reference to the minimum observed score on the indicator. The methodology also penalize those provinces that, still having enough resources to ensure all child enjoy a given level of right, they fail to ensure that.

Each right index is computed as the simple average of the underlying adjusted indicator performance scores for the different aspects of the right assessed. Then, the ICDNAr is obtained as the simple average of the different dimensions of right. The ICDNAr is calculated for the years 2001 and 2010.

Our preliminary results suggest that none of the Argentinean Provinces are completely meeting their obligations to fulfill the children and youth's rights, although some are more successful than others, and that grade of fulfillment seems not to depend on the province income level.

scroll to top