Gross National Happiness (GNH)
Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a concept developed in Bhutan, a small Himalayan country located in South Asia. It is a holistic approach to development that prioritises the well-being of individuals and communities over economic growth.
The concept of GNH was first introduced by the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in the 1970s. In contrast to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders, GNH measures the overall well-being of the Bhutanese people.
The GNH framework includes a set of indicators that measure well-being in different areas, such as:
- Economic well-being: This includes measures of income and employment, as well as access to basic needs like food, shelter, and healthcare.
- Environmental well-being: This includes measures of environmental quality and sustainability, such as access to clean water, air quality, and the state of forests and wildlife.
- Physical well-being: This includes measures of health and well-being, such as life expectancy, access to healthcare, and physical fitness.
- Mental well-being: This includes measures of happiness and satisfaction, as well as social connectedness and the ability to cope with stress.
- Education: This includes measures of access to education, literacy rates, and the quality of the education system.
- Cultural well-being: This includes measures of the preservation and promotion of Bhutan's unique cultural traditions and values.
The GNH framework is used to guide policy-making and development in Bhutan, and it has gained international attention for its innovative approach to development that prioritises well-being over economic growth.