Taking Happiness Seriously – Eleven Dialogues on Gross National Happiness

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Taking Happiness Seriously – Eleven Dialogues on Gross National Happiness by Dr Ross McDonald

This is a collection of in-depth dialogues between the author and well-known players central to the formation of this important goal. It includes dialogues with the Honourable Prime Mnister of Bhutan, global luminaries in the fields of happiness/wellbeing such as Dr Ron Colman, Dr Nic Marks and Prof Ruut Veehoven along with important Bhutanese voices including the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, the country’s leading Buddhist scholar and voices from the media and civil society.

First published 2010

Karma Ura in dialogue with Ross McDonald on GNH

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An Extensive Analysis of GNH Index

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Overall, in 2010, 8.3% of Bhutanese people are ‘deeply happy’ according to GNH; 32.6% are ‘extensively happy’; 48.7% are ‘narrowly happy’, and 10.4% are ‘unhappy’. These four groups correspond to people who have achieved sufficiency in more than 77%, 66-76%, 50-65%, and less than half of the nine domains, respectively. The 2010 GNH Index uses the middle cutoff. Its value is 0.743 and shows that, overall, 40.9% of Bhutanese are identified as happy (meaning they are extensively or deeply happy), and the remaining 59.1% enjoy sufficiency in 56.6% of the domains on average. Recall that 48.7% of these are already narrowly happy, but are considered not-yet-happy for policy purposes. GNH gradients and indices are reported for each of the 20 districts by gender, by rural-urban areas, and, for illustrative purposes, by age and certain occupational categories.

The analysis has two parts: first, the wellbeing of the people who have been identified as ‘happy’ is examined to show the indicators in which they enjoy sufficiency. Some individual examples are presented to show that the ‘happiest’ people are diverse with respect to age, district, occupation, gender, and sufficiency profiles.

Second, the insufficiencies among those not identified as happy (or not-yet- happy) are examined. The GNH Index value can rise either by increasing the percentage of people who are happy, or the percentage in which not- yet-happy people enjoy sufficiency. This analysis clarifies areas where policy interventions or actions by other institutions could increase GNH. All tables used in this report, together with the survey instrument of questions used in the index and statistical analyses, are presented in the extensive appendices.

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A Short Guide to GNH Index

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Bhutan’s GNH Index is a multidimensional measure and it is linked with a set of policy and programme screening tools so that it has practical applications. The GNH index is built from data drawn from periodic surveys which are representative by district, gender, age, rural-urban residence, etc. Representative sampling allows its results to be decomposed at various sub-national levels, and such disaggregated information can be examined and understood more by organizations and citizens for their uses. In the GNH Index, unlike certain concepts of happiness in current western literature, happiness is itself multidimensional – not measured only by subjective well-being, and not focused narrowly on happiness that begins and ends with oneself and is concerned for and with oneself. The pursuit of happiness is collective, though it can be experienced deeply personally. Different people can be happy in spite of their disparate circumstances and the options for diversity must be wide.

The GNH Index is meant to orient the people and the nation towards happiness, primarily by improving the conditions of not- yet-happy people. We can break apart the GNH Index to see where unhappiness is arising from and for whom. For policy action, the GNH Index enables the government and others to increase GNH in two ways.

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Provisional Findings of 2015 GNH Survey

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This report provides preliminary findings of the 2015 GNH Survey while a full report is being prepared. The Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research (CBS) carried out the survey between January and May 2015 with funding from the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The survey is designed to collect data on range of indicators on wellbeing and happiness.

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GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: PRACTICE AND MEASUREMENT

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GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: PRACTICE AND MEASUREMENT

Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness

Edited by Dasho Karma Ura and Dorji Penjore

This publication is the proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness held in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 24 to 26 November 2008, against the backdrop of the global financial crisis. The conference which attracted 90 participants from 25 countries and five continents was attended by an average of 300 participants and observers. With the theme ‘Practice and Measurement’, the conference could not be held at a better place and time than Bhutan, the birthplace of GNH, and a time when the world is questioning the conventional growth model and its measurement system.

A total of 48 papers were presented. Almost all papers have been categorised to fit into one of the nine domains of Gross National Happiness: i. Psychological Wellbeing; ii. Time Use and Balance; iii. Cultural Diversity and Resilience; iv. Community Vitality; v. Ecological Diversity and Resilience; vi. Good Governance; vii. Health; viii. Education; and ix. Living Standard. Papers related to measuring progress and development of alternative measure of wellbeing (Measurement), and those related to carrying the GNH forward into global network and development of innovative ideas for implementing GNH (The Way Forward) constitute two separate parts.

The book is uploaded by chapters for easier and quicker download. The articles will begin downloading when you click on the title of the articles that you want.

Sl.No. Content Author

Page no.

0 Cover and Copyright page  
0 Introduction

vi

1 Keynote Address His Excellency Jigmi Y Thinley, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan

1

2 Remarks Nicholas Rossellini, Resident Coordinator of UN System in Bhutan

9


Measurement
3 Measuring Progress Towards GNH: From GNH Indicators to GNH National Accounts? Ronald Colman

15

4 The Analysis of Results of Research into ‘The Ideal Society’ in Japan, Sweden and Bhutan – Using the Indicators of Human Satisfaction Measure Terue Ohashi

49

5 The Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies: A global movement for a global challenge Jon Hall

87

6 Creating National Accounts of Wellbeing; a parallel process to GNH Nic Marks

102


Psychological Wellbeing
 7 Can We Have Both Psychological and Ecological Wellbeing George Burns

127

8 The Nature-Nurture Debate: New Evidence and Good News Ragnhild Bang Nes

149


Time Use
9 Time use and Happiness Karma Galay

169


Culture
10 Internalizing the Other–Cross Cultural Understanding in Arts and Education Sharon Lowen

209

11 Role of meditation in promoting happiness Khenpo Phuntsho Tashi

218

12 The Semantic Structure of Gross National Happiness: A View From Conceptual Metaphor Theory Carl Polley

228


Community Vitality
13 Development and (Un)happiness: A case Study from Rural Ethiopia Dena Freeman

241

14 Religious Institution Based Community-hood and Identity of a ‘Muslim Community’ in a ‘Remote’ Rural Village in Bangladesh Mohammed Kamruzzaman

257

15 To Think Like an Island: Three-Capital Model in Pursuing GNH in Taiwan Juju Chin Shou Wang

276

Ecological Diversity and Resilience
16 Institutional Challenges to ‘Patience’ in the Collective Management of Public Goods Ram Fishman

303

17 Status Symbols, Ecosystems and Sustainability Arthur Fishman

331

Good Governance
18 Good Organizational Practice and GNH: A Proposal for Organizational Performance Indicators Anne-Marie Schreven

331

19 Between Earth and Sky: Formal Organizations as Instrument in Creating GNH John Nirenberg

351

20 Do Information and Communication Technologies Further or Hinder Gross National Happiness? Jason Whalley and Kezang

368

21 ICT Key Role in the Economic Development of Haiti: Lessons from Pilot Projects in Rural Haiti and Associated Directions of Contribution to the GNH Index Serge MirandaFrantz Verella, and Tahar Saiah

391

Health
22 A Paradigm Shift in Health Care to Increase GNH Dr Chencho Dorji

413

23 Nature- Deficit Disorder and the Spirit of Wilderness Dave Augeri

436

24 Dynamic Aging Ethel Lowen

456


Education
25 Western Education, Socialization and Individualism Andrie Kusserow

467

26 Gross National Happiness in the Classroom – A Teacher’s Thoughts Meena Srinivasan

480

27 Conceptualising Education for Constitutional Monarchy System: Meiji Japan’s View and Approach Masanori Kakutani

487

28 Schools in Rural Areas and GNH: Endogenous Actions of Small Communities in Japan and Sweden Michiyo Okuma Nystrom

503

Living Standard
29 Shift in the Measure of Quality of Life viz-a-viz Happiness – A Study of Phongmey Gewog and Trashigang Town in Eastern Bhutan Vijay Shrotryia

525

30 Japan’s Paradigm Shift from Growth to Happiness: Slowing Down to Advance Wellbeing Junko Edahiro and Riichiro Oda

548

31 Food Security and Gross National Happiness Akiko Ueda

568

32 Optimal Condition of Happiness: Application of Taguchi Robust Parameter Design on Evidences from India Prabhat Pankaj and Deobra

582

GNH – The Way Forward
33 The Future of Happiness as a National Pursuit Ross MacDonald

613

34 Critical Holism: A New Development Paradigm Inspired by Gross National Happiness? Hans van Willenswaard

632

35 GNH: Changing Views, a Label for Quality Information Nille van Hellemont

672

Contributor’s biography

689

TOWARDS GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION

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TOWARDS GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION

Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness

This book is a compilation of the papers presented at the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness held from 22 to 28 November 2007 in Thailand. It was attended by about six hundred participants from academia, NGOs, governments, media, and religious institutions. The Centre would like to thank both the national and international participants for their papers submitted to the conference and helping in further expanding the concept of Gross National Happiness as well as for helping to take steps towards grounding the concept into practice. Only a select few papers are included in this volume due to lack of space.

 Sl. No.  Title  Author Page. No. 
 1  Cover Page and Acknowledgements    vii
 2  Activating Difference: Appreciating Equity in an Era of Global Interdependence  Peter D. Herschock  1
 3  Pretty Woman  Dasho Kinley Dorji  10
 4  Happiness and Spirituality Gem Dorji  26
 5  Reciprocal Exchange and Community Vitality: The Case of Gortshom Village in Eastern Bhutan  Sonam Kinga  31
 6 Is National Environment Conservation Success a Rural Failure? The Other Side of Bhutan’s Conservation Story   Dorji Penjore  66
7  Opening the Gates in Bhutan: Media Gatekeepers and the Agenda of Change  Siok Sian Pek-Dorji  88
 8  Conglomerate Radar of Happiness in Bhutan  Prabhat K Pankaj  110
 9  A case story from Minamata: GNH Practice as Human Security and Sustainable Development  Takayoshi Kusago  130
 10  The Suicide Priests of Japan and the Search for Gross National Happiness  Jonathan Watts  135
 11  Gross National Happiness: A New Paradigm  Chandima D. Daskon  167
 12 Beyond the Linear Logic of Project Aid Alternative: Understandings of Participation and Community Vitality  Amanda Kiessel  183
 13  Creating Vibrant Communities through Ecologically Sound Food Production  Alex Kaufman  199
 14  Happiness Under Pressure: How Dual-Earner Parents Experience Time in Australia  Peter Brown, Ester Cerin & Penny Warner-Smith 213
 15 P2P and Human Happiness   Michel Bauwens 233
 16  Micro-finance in Improvement of Living Standard and GNH   Saugata Bandyoupadhayay 248
 17  Micro-finance Institution, Social Capital and Peace Building: Evidence from West Kalimantan, Indonesia Rochman Achwan  272
 18  Interpreting Right Livelihood: Understanding and Practice in Contemporary Thailand  Nissara Horayangura  282
 19  A Tale of Two Samut Cities: Different Paths to Devleopment and People’s Wellbeing in Samut Sakorn and Samut Songkram Provinces  Decharut Sukkumnoed and Wipawa Chuenchit  300
 20 The Development of Thai Mental Health Indicator: From Past to Present   Apichai Mongkol, Tavee Tangseree, Pichet Udomratn, Watchanee Huttapanom & Worawan Chutha  315
21  The Concept of Happiness: The Bridge between Western and Eastern Thought, and Empirical Evidence of Bangkokian’s Happiness Determinants  Kanokporn Nitnitiphrut  326
 22  Macroeconomic Determinants of the Happiness of the Poor: A Case Study of Pakistan  Muhammad Shahbaz & Naveed Aamir  367

First Published: 2008
ISBN 99936-14-42-4
© The Centre for Bhutan Studies

Rethinking Development

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RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT

Proceedings of Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness

The papers in this publication were presented at the Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness, which was held from 20 to 24 June 2005 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. The conference was attended by scholars from various parts of the world. The conference emphasized the exploration of practices and the sharing of actual experiences. It built on the first GNH Conference held in 2004 in Thimphu, Bhutan and carried the subject further by focusing on what may be thought of as “reports from the field” as indicators not necessarily of the state of achievement of Gross National Happiness but of the variety of experiences and experiments “out there” that can orient us in one or another direction as we seek ways to operationalize the concept.

You may download the proceedings by different chapters from the following table.

Sl.No. Title Author Page No.
1 Acknowledgements i 
2 Introduction Mark Mancall ii 
3 Opening Address Myra A. Freeman 1
4 What is Gross National Happiness? Lyonpo Jigmi Y. Thinley 3
5 Governance as the Key to Gross National Happiness John Ralston Saul 13
6 How Should Happiness Guide Policy? Why Gross National Happiness is not Opposed to Democracy? Johannes Hirata 31
7 Assessing the Full Cost of Energy in Nova Scotia: A GPI Atlantic Approach Ryan Parmenter, Seth Cain and Judith Lipp 47
8 The Myth Behind Alcohol Happiness Dr. Chencho Dorji 64
9 The Bhutanese Media: In the Service of the Public Kinley Dorji and Siok Sian Pek 78
10 Planning for Sustainable Happiness: Harmonizing our Internal and External Landscapes Catherine O’Brien 97
11 Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region Francisco VanderHoff Boersma 112
12 On Responsibility in the Private Sector Ray Andersen 144
13 Principles of Polyface Farm Joel Salatin 158
14 Social Enterprise Models as Key Drivers for Community-based Agriculture Forouk Jiwa 161
15 The University as an instrument of Gross National Happiness: Some Reflections Thakur Singh Powdyel 166
16 Barefoot College: Its Experience Sanjit Bunker Roy 183
17 Bartering for a Better Future? Community Currencies and Sustainable Consumption Gill Seyfang 186
18 The Positive Impact of Gomchen Tradition on Achieving and Maintaining Gross National Happiness Khenpo Phuntshok Tashi 211
19 Happiness and Indigenous Wisdom in the History of the Americas Frank Bracho 242
20 Folktales and Education: The Role of Bhutanese Folktales in Values Transmission Dorji Penjore 258
21 Our View of Development Ela R. Bhatt 278
22 What is Sustainable and What is Not? Holly Dressel 281
23 Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren: Progress and Prospects after 75 years John Stutz 286

First Published: 2007
ISBN 99936-14-19-X
© The Centre for Bhutan Studies

Gross National Happiness and Development

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GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS AND DEVELOPMENT
Proceedings of the First International Conference on Operationalization of Gross National Happiness

Edited by Karma Ura and Karma Galay

The papers in this publication were presented at the first International Conference on Operationalization of Gross National Happiness, which was held from 18 to 20 February 2004 in Thimphu. The conference was attended by scholars from various parts of the world. They presented papers on a wide range of themes such as culture, religion, economy, environment, development issues and international relations. The Centre for Bhutan Studies would like to thank the authors for their contributions.

To make download faster, the book is uploaded by chapters. You may hover your cursor on the title of the article you want and then click on it to download.

Chapter Title Author Page No.
1 Preface Vii
 2 Gross National Happiness and Development: An Essay Mark Mancall 1
3 Trade, Development, and the Broken Promise of Interdependence: A Buddhist Reflection on the Possibility of Post-Market Economics Peter D. Herschock 51
4 Towards an Economic of Happiness Helena Noberg-Hodge and Steven Gorelick 77
5 Improving Unsustainable Western Economic Systems Frank Dixon 105
6 Operationalising Gross National Happiness Tracy Worcester 121
7 Information and Communications Technology and Gross National Happiness – Who Serves Whom? Christopher B. Faris 140
8 Cherry Picking in Bhutan Michael Rowbotham 174
9 A Good Time for Gross National Happiness Rajni Bakshi 200
10 Will ‘Middle Way Economics’ Emerge from the Gross National Happiness Approach of Bhutan? Hans van Willenswaard 214
11 Gross National Happiness: Towards a New Paradigm in Economics Sander G. Tideman 222
12 Small-scale Business Inspired by Timeless Simplicity: A Contribution Towards Gross National Happiness Wallapa Kuntiranont 247
13 Measuring Genuine Progress – Indicators for Enlightened Society Ron Coleman and Julia Sagebien 252
14 Bhutan’s Quadrilemma: To Join or Not to Join the WTO, That is the Question Mark Mancall 260
15 Finding Happiness in Wisdom and Compassion – the Real Challenge for an Alternative Development Strategy Ross McDonald 271
16 Happy Life Years: A Measure of Gross National Happiness Ruut Venhoven 287
17 Towards Evidence Based Public Policy: The Power and Potential of using Well-being Indicators in a Political Context Nic Marks 319
18 How Bhutan can Measure and Develop GNH Suellen Donnelly 347
19 Measuring Individual Happiness in Relation to Gross National Happiness in Bhutan: Some Preliminary Results from Survey Data Prabhat Pankaj and Tshering Dorji 375
20 National Happiness: Universalism, Cultural Relativism, or Both? An Assessment Chris Whitehouse and Thomas Winderl 389
21 Adding Spirit to Economics Sulak Sivaraksa 409
22 Happiness in the Midst of Change: A Human Development Approach to Studying GNH in the Context of Economic Development Happiness as the Greatest Human Wealth Michael Levensen etal 419
23 Happiness as the Greatest Human Wealth Frank Bracho 430
24 Quality and Sustainability of Life Indicators at International, National and Regional Levels Pavel Novacek etal 450
25 Development as Freedom, Freedom as Happiness: Human Development and Happiness in Bhutan Joseph Johnson 457
26 The Centrality of Buddhism and Education in Developing Gross National Happiness Dharmachari Lokamitra 472
27 The Role of Buddhism in Achieving Gross National Happiness Khenpo Phuntsok Tashi 483
28 Framework for Operationalizing the Buddhist Concept of Gross National Happiness Buddhadsa Hewavitharana 496
29 Using Buddhist Insights in Implementing Gross National Happiness Jean Karel Hylkema 532
30 The Characteristics and Levels of Happiness in the Context of the Bhutanese Society Karma Gayleg 541
31 Prolegomena to Pursuing Gross National Happiness: The Bhutanese Approach Pema Tenzin 555
32 Culture, Coping and Resilience to Stress Carolyn M. Aldwin 563
33 Beyond Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Health for all Through Sustainable Community Development T. Thamrongwaranggoon 574
34 Achieving Gross National Happiness Through Community –based Mental Health Services in Bhutan Chencho Dorji 599
35 Literacy for All: One of the Means to Achieve Gross National Happiness Tashi Zangmo 629
36 Tears and Laughter: Promoting Gross National Happiness Through the Rich Oral Traditions and Heritage of Bhutan Steven Evans 637
37 One Big Happy Family? Gross National Happiness and the Concept of Family in Bhutan Linda Leaming 660
38 Building the Fire: Preserving Local Knowledge and Traditions in the Face of Globalization Trudy Sable 680
39 Be Decent Be Happy: Apprehending the Truth of Sustainable Happiness Wiboon Kemchalerm 688
40 Relevance of Soils for Gross National Happinesss Thoma Caspari 692
41 Putting Gross National Happiness in the Service of Good Development: From Ethics to Politics Johannes Hirata 706
42 Foundations and Scope of Gross National Happiness: A Layman’s Perspective Thakur Singh Powdyel 732
43 Notes on Contributors 748

First Published: 2004
ISBN 99936-14-19-X
© The Centre for Bhutan Studies

2015 GNH Survey Report

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The Third Gross National Happiness (GNH) Survey was conducted from January to May 2015 with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Royal Government of Bhutan. The GNH Survey presents a great detail of information on various aspects of Bhutanese people’s lives that are pertinent to wellbeing measurement and analysis. It can be used to generate policy recommendations, as well as to inform different institutions on the achievements and issues in their areas or sectors of operation. The 2015 GNH Survey used a sample of 7,153 people aged 15 years and above. A four-stage stratified random sampling method was adopted for the survey. For the first time, 29.9 percent of the interviews was conducted using tablets [Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI)] with the support from the World Bank.

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