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GAP Initiative

Bhutan: Planning for Happiness

Amidst sweeping reforms, governance indicators  have a great potential to strengthen both planning processes and participation in Bhutan.
Bhutan has witnessed unparalleled political and administrative reforms as part of its progressive adoption of core democratic principles. Beginning in April 2008, the Royal Government of Bhutan formally marked the historic transition to a democratic constitutional monarchy. Democratization has ushered further commitment to development and strengthened the Government’s approach to achieving Gross National Happiness.
Today, the high pace of reform continues, and this project will offer support to face the challenges ahead. A Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index is already in place.
In the spirit of result-based management, the Gross National Happiness Commission is set to integrate GNH indicators in national planning, monitoring and evaluation. Stakeholder involvement, awareness raising, and usage of the indicators will also be supported.
GNH ‘screening tools’ are seen as a key resource for policy makers.  Developed with the support of the Centre for Bhutan Studies, screening tools will  help ministries to ensure that projects submitted to the GNH Commission are "GNH cleared." This implies that programmes have been reviewed (and mitigation measures identified where necessary) for key determinants of GNH, such as
  • equity,
  • biodiversity,
  • family time, and
  • stress levels.