Secondary links

User links

News

Bhutan: Planning for happiness

Country: 
Bhutan
Posted date: 
Sat, 01/02/2010
Source of the information: 
Gaportal
Maximization of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH) is the ultimate goal of development in Bhutan, as measured by the GNH Index. But how to translate the GNH vision into practice? The Government has decided to screen all policy and programme proposals for their effects on happiness.
 
Bhutan has officially adopted “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) as its development philosophy, and the GNH Index as its official statistic to measure development over time.
 

Maximization of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH) is the ultimate goal of development in Bhutan, as measured by the GNH Index. But how to translate the GNH vision into practice? The Government has decided to screen all policy and programme proposals for their effects on happiness.

Maximization of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH) is the ultimate goal of development in Bhutan, as measured by the GNH Index. But how to translate the GNH vision into practice? The Government has decided to screen all policy and programme proposals for their effects on happiness.
 
Bhutan has officially adopted “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) as its development philosophy, and the GNH Index as its official statistic to measure development over time.
 
Refusing to define development exclusively in material terms, the Bhutanese rather emphasize the need to secure a harmonious balance between the physical, social, spiritual, psychological and cultural well-being of individuals.
 
The GNH Index has captured the world’s attention, but the ‘real test’ will be to operationalize the GNH, as explained by the researchers who constructed the Index: “GNH indicators as targets are offering us a direction for our programmes and policies which is coherent with the values of GNH. However, we need other tools to help us manoeuvre towards GNH targets, tools that will allow us to know before approving a proposal whether we are actually advancing in the right direction.”
 
The OGC was recently on mission in Bhutan to support the GNH Commission and the Centre of Bhutan Studies in developing ‘screening tools’ to help policymakers better plan for happiness. The main objective of these tools is to systematically assess the intended and unintended effects of policies and programmes on key determinants of GNH, such as equity, biodiversity, family time, and stress levels. The GNH Impact Matrixes will also help design mitigation measures to address the possible negative effects of an intervention, and identify additional monitoring data needs to keep track of those GNH dimensions which might be ‘at risk’ in the course of policy implementation.
 
The Global Programme is also supporting the GNH Commission in developing official guidelines on how Ministries should use the screening tools to issue ‘GNH clearance’ prior to submitting proposals to the GNH Commission. Upon reviewing those, the Commission can establish an independent ‘GNH Task Force’ if it wishes to seek a second opinion on the expected effects of a proposal on the overall happiness of the population.
 
 
Links: