Gross national happiness

Gross National Happiness

Gross national happiness

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Description:
The concept of gross national happiness (Dzongkha: རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་དགའ་སྐྱིད་དཔལ་འཛོམས་; Wylie: rgyal-yongs dga'a-skyid dpal-'dzoms) or "GNH" was developed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than gross domestic product (GDP).

Origins and meaning

The term "gross national happiness" was coined in 1972 by Bhutan's former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened Bhutan to the age of modernization, soon after the demise of his father, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. He used the phrase to signal his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. At first offered as a casual, offhand remark, the concept was taken seriously, as the Centre for Bhutan Studies, under the leadership of Karma Ura, developed a sophisticated survey instrument to measure the population's general level of well-being. The Canadian health epidemiologist Michael Pennock had a major role in the design of the instrument, and uses (what he calls) a "de-Bhutanized" version of the survey in his work in Victoria, British Columbia. Ura and Pennock have also collaborated on the development of policy screening tools which can be used to examine the potential impacts of projects or programs on GNH.

Like many psychological and social indicators, GNH is...
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