Happiness Economics & Wellbeing Public Policy

Social Innovation and Socioeconomic Development Policy

Gross National Wellbeing and Happiness Index
GNW / GNH Index


Thought Leadership

In 2005, Med Jones introduced  the first Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing Index. The GNW / GNH Index framework was created to help guide and measure socioeconomic development. In 2006, he published a highly-respected white-paper that outlined recommendations for GNW Index policies and implementation. The recommended framework is considered a breakthrough in economic thinking. Several prominent  organization followed with similar initiatives and framework design and policy recommendations. Among them are Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission (published 2009) commissioned by President Sarkozy in  France, the OECD Better Life Index (2011), the UK Wellbeing Index  (2011) commissioned by President Cameron in Britain, and the Bhutan local GNH Index (2012) commission.

Academic Research and History Notes:

The term Gross National Happiness (GNH) was coined by Sicco Mansholt  in 1972. One of the Founding Fathers of the European Union and the fourth President of the European Commission. The term first appeared in the  European Commission's French-language Report 1958-1972 (page 182). [Note: The English translation of the "Bonheur National Brut  (BNB)" is Gross National Happiness in (GNH).  However no econometric framework and no GNH index existed until 2005. The US-based economist, Med Jones is credited with the first statistical measurements framework and public opinion survey of what he calls well-being economics (GNW / GNH) that included subjective and objective measures of happiness and well-being stress, such as multi-dimensional life satisfaction, consumer and national debt to GDP, fairness of income distribution, and the relationship between earnings and prices (inflation) and crime rates, etc.


The first GNH Index was published by the International Institute of Management several years before Bhutan created and published a their local GNH Index. The first Bhutan GNH philosophy and Index was created to preserve the local Buddhist religious and cultural traditions, it included measurements of the number of prayers and karma indicators. The IIM GNH Index is a global scientific index that is designed to measure citizens' wellbeing independently of religious affiliations.

The coining of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) phrase and the creation of the GNH Index are widely mis-attributed to Bhutan by the media and academia. IIM believes that the Bhutanese diplomatic machine launched an intense media campaign and used the United Nations resources (including the World Happiness Report and Conferences) to spread the mis-information that the phrase "Gross National Happiness" was coined by the Bhutanese the 4th King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck 1980s (i.e. when he was of 16!) and that Bhutan created the first GNH Index. We believe that this might constitute an academic misconduct that requires further investigation and validation by the UN academic integrity office and the academic community at large.  For an independent academic mis-conduct investigation and resources on the history of GNH, please  see the bottom section of this page.


Industry Recognition

(Note: Some excerpts are google-translated into English from their native language)

(Click on the reference thumbnails below to see the original source)



In The Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness (page 30)
The concept at the heart of the Bhutanese approach is not dissimilar from the metric used by Med Jones is based on a series of statistical measurements and public opinion testing of what he calls economic wellness...Economic Wellness include issues like consumer and national debt, fairness of income distribution, and the relationship between and earnings and prices...Perhaps Mr. Cameron and President Sarkozy will discover that there are certain universal truths attached to what makes people and nations happy.

Alastair Campbell, Director of Strategy & Communications for U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair
(United Kingdom)

Gross National Wellbeing and Happiness - GNW Index & GNH Index - UK Government Cameron - French Government Sarkozy - Med Jones  <- click on each logo for the original citation





Report for Congressman Hansen Clarke
21st Century GDP: National Indicators for a New Era: Findings & Recommendations: Congress should prescribe the broad parameters of new, carefully designed supplemental national indicators...[Appendix: Taxonomy of Alternative Indicators: (Page 91 & 93)]...Med Jones' (proposal)..to measure a generalized GNH by assessing seven different areas of wellness: economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social, and political. Most wellness areas include both subjective results (via survey) and objective data.

Ben Beachy & Justin Zorn, PhDs.
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

USA - Harvard University Government Congress Report - Gross National Wellness Index - Med Jones    <- click on each logo for the original citation


Climate Colab - A Global Proposal
We are going through one of the greatest social transformations in history - the shift from the Industrial Age to the Information Age...For the first time in history we have the capabilities and tools to collaborate globally using a scientific systems approach to addressing human needs.
Rationale for the proposal:

(1) The need for new measures of social and economic health..
(2) Information Age Economy - based on measures of satisfying Human Needs and Values...
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - these are simple principles that the vast majority of people in the world would agree are fundamental human needs. An Information Age Economy will focus on delivering a happy and abundant life in the most economical way to the worlds people...
Discovery Reference: International Institute of Management's Gross National Happiness (GNH) - A Policy White Paper

Ted Schulman, Managing Partner, Transformative Communities, Climate Colab
MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

MIT - IIM Global Gross National Happiness GNH Index - Med Jones  <- click on each logo for the original citation

Archived MIT Climate Lab Page



The Ethical Implications of Value for New Economic Thinking
The above seven metrics were incorporated into the first Global GNH Survey. (by  Med Jones, at the International Institute of Management)

Book: Value Economics (Page 112)
M. R. Griffiths, Governor British Institute of Florence, (Italy)
J. R. Lucas, Fellow British Academy, University of Oxford, (UK)

Med Jones - New Economic Thinking - University of Oxford <- click on each logo for the original citation


Since the 1950s, one can observe the formation of new scientific directions on the border of economic theory with other social sciences: economic sociology , economic psychology, etc...

[2006 Med Jones approach] to happiness measurement gives many prospects for the development of economic science. The complexity of this concept is very important to help bring economics to a new level of development.

Journal of Scientific Publications (Page 36)
Osetrov V.N., Senior Lecturer, Department of General Economic Theory,
Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg

Russia - Ural Federal University - Med Jones - GNH Index - Happiness Economic Theory


Beyond the Digital Divide: A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Knowledge Societies

So we have a Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index proposed in 2006 by the US-based International Institute of Management that considers the cultural trait of being happy and content as a socioeconomic development metric encompassing a society's mental and emotional health. However, with some exceptions, many of these aspects of how a society lives with fulfilling knowledge, have yet to enter into the lexicon of most knowledge policy planners.

Journal of Knowledge Management (2008)
Ravi S Sharma, Elaine W. J. Ng, Mathias Dharmawirya, and Lee Chu Keong.
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information
Nanyang Technological University

Singapore - Nanyang Technological University - Med Jones (Med Yones) Gross National Happiness <- click on each logo for the original citation



The United Nations' Global Happiness Measurement

The [Bhutan] National Happiness Index (GNH) lived for three decades the King's vision without having attracted much attention in the world. Obviously, in addition to the lack of a universal definition of happiness, [and the difficulty to  be] measured objectively it hindered the Bhutanese initiative to have a global echo... In 2005, Gross National Well-being (GNW) created by economist Med Jones at International Institute of Management... Happiness Planet Index in 2006 led by Nic Mars an activist in London's New Economic Foundation in London... The Paris based OECD established Better Life Index in 2011.... The United Nations General Assembly itself received on 19 July 2011 a decision to compare the state of development of the countries (65/309): "Happiness: the holistic development framework"...  In June 2012, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution (A / RES / 66/281) that the 20th Anniversary of every year should be the International Day of Happiness.

Professor Geza Ankerl, 
Specialist in International Bodies, Adviser to the United Nations in Geneva
University of Geneva and Budapest University
Hungarian National Library - Economic Sociology

Hungary - United Nations - Gross National Wellbeing (GNW) Index - Med Jones



Gross National Happiness (GNH) - The internationalization of a concept and national challenge.

A second-generation GNH concept, treating happiness as a socioeconomic development metric, was proposed in 2006 by Med Yones, the President of International Institute of Management. The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking 7 development area including the nation's mental and emotional health GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita...The above 7 metrics were incorporated into the first Global GNH Survey...

In Thimphu 24-26 Nov.2008... In a bid to measure happiness the Center for Bhutan Studies (CBS) has constructed a single number Gross National Happiness Index. "The GNH index tries to bring into one number the nine dimensions of GNH" explained Sabina Alkire, the director of Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative, who co-authored the study with Dasho Karma Ura, the president of CBS.

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize for Economics 2001 and former vice president of the Bank world, said at a conference on development in Cleveland USA, 2008, that "standard measures of GNP do not take account for the degradation of the environment and natural resources..".

Francoise Pommaret,
Adjunct Professor at Royal University of Bhutan (Bhutan)
Director of Research, France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS.FR)French Ministry of Education and Research. (France)

France CNRS - GNH Index Med Yones - Joseph Stiglitz - Nobel Prize Economist - Bhutan GNH Index Alkire - Dasho Karma  <- click on each logo for the original citation


Restructuring the Global Economy
The current global economic crisis (2008) has its roots in the mindset and lifestyle of people in general.... A new economic index that is centered on wellness rather than material growth needs to be adopted by governments to reframe their policies and programs. GNW or GNH (Gross National Wellness/Happiness) is an index that would fit this requirement. Thus it would be in the fitness of things and conducive to Human Union and Global Harmony that GNH or GNW, a new comprehensive index for socioeconomic growth and development is adopted at the national and global levels. The current economic crisis provides an opportunity for making this transition. In fact this may be the only viable way out to rescue the world from a worsening crisis that is born out of a system that is built on false premises.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan Padmanabhan
Professor at Madras Medical College, Chennai

India Madras Medical College - Med Yones - Med Jones - Gross National Wellbeing Index - Happiness Economics  <- click on each logo for the original citation


Health Care  and Life Satisfaction in Spain
..the Gross National Well-being (GNW), which was the first of its kind combining subjective measures (satisfaction) and objective data (economic indicators), tracking 7 different areas of wellness. This index set the first framework for future research combining both subjective and objective data... In 2008, the French president Nicolas Sarcozy, assessed by two Nobel Prizes, under the name 'The Quality Life Commission', announced a revolutionary plan to include happiness and well-being among the key indicators of economic progress"

Economics Paper: An Empirical Analysis for the Period 2002 - 2014
Iban Ortuzar Fern'ndez, University of Girona

Med Jones Gross National Wellbeing Index (GNW Index) at University of Girona, Spain <- click on each logo for the original citation


Integrated Model for Sustainable Development (2008)
Med Yones, President of International Institute of Management in 2006 stated that along with economic growth the other important factors for general happiness are Environmental, Physical, Mental, Workplace, Social and Political wellness

Vineet. H. Varma ; Gopi Chattopadhyay
Industrial Engineering Journal 2008 - ieeexplore.ieee.org
Central Queensland University, Australia




Philosophy & Management's Conference
A composite index proposed by the International Institute of Management pursues the same ambition to quantify happiness, encompassing 7 factors: the economic, the environment, physical health, mental health, well-being at work, the good social, political health. The Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi commission, created at the initiative of President Sarkozy in France, also examined the problem. The OECD has launched an interactive indicator "Better Living" which aims to enable everyone to measure and compare their own quality of life by going beyond the traditional framework of Gross Domestic Product statistics. Finally, the UN is taking a close interest in research on new development indicators: it has thus created a "Working Group for a New Development Paradigm.."

Laurent Ledoux, Director of "Philosophy & Management".
Academic Director, Solvay, Brussels School, the Louvain School of Management and HEC Li'ge. Chairman of the Management Committee of the Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport (DG of the Belgian Ministry of Transport).

Belgium - Gross National Wellbeing and Happiness GNW - GNH Index at Philosphy and Management - Med Jones - Joseph Stiglitz - Amrtaya Sen - Sarkozy Commission - OECD   <- click on each logo for the original citation


Book: Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications
The first global study on GNH included multi-criteria measures of economic, environmental, physical, mental, social, workplace and political wellness (by IIM).

Professor Herman E. Daly  School of Maryland, School of Public Affairs  and Former Senior Economist World Bank
Dr. Joshua Farley, PhD, Agricultural Economics,
Cornell University and  Executive Director of Gund Institute of Ecological Economics (page 274)

World Bank - Med Yones - Gross National Wellbeing - GNW Index


Happiness Index: A New Standard for Evaluating Rights and Legal Systems
Happiness is a problem worthy of consideration by the legal scholars. In the history of human ideas, happiness has the dual tension of virtue and sensibility... The necessity of jurisprudence to explore the issue of well-being Happiness is a value pursuit that no race, government or nation will reject. It is not only a higher-order value, but also a complex of multiple values, and all other values ​​are Happiness and service... There are many ways to calculate the happiness index. It can be calculated not only through economic data, but also from a psychological point of view. It should also be measured by specific indicators such as legislation, law enforcement, and justice. When the International Institution of Management of the United States conducted a survey on national well-being, it mainly focused on evaluating the quality of democracy, individual freedom, foreign conflicts, and other indicators of political well-being. In terms of social well-being, it mainly focused on internal conflicts and Dispute resolution mechanisms, social discrimination, divorce rates, public interest litigation, crime rates, social security, and other indicators.

China Law Society: China Law Innovation Network - Miaowen Gong Institute of Law
Li Lei Feng, Jurist Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University  - China Law Society - Gross National Well-being - GNW - Index  - Med Yones - IIM   <- click on each logo for the original citation


Why Happiness?
Happiness research is gaining popularity among scientists as well as in politics and the public. But what exactly does that mean and where does the endeavor to make "happiness" measurable? Already Aristotle described the "happiness" as "the goal of all human aspirations and longings". For thousands of years, the question of happiness and its accessibility in philosophy, at Stammtisch and in literary advisers. But only in recent years has the trend to calculate and compare it...

The sudden focus of politics is only consistent. After all, the overriding goal of policy decisions should be to increase the well-being of the population. Governments that focus exclusively on economic growth can quickly lose track of this goal. They do not always make the most happiness-friendly choices in terms of long-term sustainable development.... As a result, according to American researcher Med Jones, the economic growth by a happier and more balanced population will come on its own. Happier people are not only generally more efficient, but are also in a healthier state of health.

GEO Educational Magazine
Lea Wrobel, Msc. Geographic Development Studies
The University of Bonn

Germany - Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing - Med Jones - Happiness Economics


Policy Innovations for Governance: A Proposal to the Federal Government of Nigeria
These innovations can help manage important policy priorities such as poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, high crime rate, civil conflicts, and risks to states integrity...In Y2000, the United Nations (UN) launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) initiative but many countries, including Nigeria lagged behind. The main reason was the lack of integrated decision-making framework and a proper measurement and management system...To comply with the United Nations (UN) happiness and wellbeing initiatives, I looked at various development and public management frameworks... (including the OECD's CMEPSP, 2009). When comparing other happiness and wellbeing frameworks around the world, they appear to be either derived from this (IIM GNW Index of 2005) model or very like its core framework... From a technical point of view, GNW framework and Index innovation did to happiness and wellbeing economics what GDP did to traditional economics; before these metrics, economic measurements were fragmented across sectors and difficult to quantify and manage.

Folasade Adesoye, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA)

Nigeria Lagos State Government - Gross National Wellbeing (GNW) Index - Med Jones - CMEPSP OECD (Joseph Stigtliz and Amartya Sen Nobel Prize Economists )


An Alternative to GDP
A model proposed in 2006 by Med Yones at the International Institute of Management. By measuring seven developmental areas, including the nation's mental and emotional health. GNH becomes an index that gives an average value per inhabitant. The areas measured are the individual's economics, environment, physical, psychology, workplace as well as social and political factors. In Sweden, a lot of this is already measured, but we are missing is a collective term and a common index that gives us the ability to see if developments are improving or deteriorating.

AnnCharlotte Stewart, PhD
Uppsala University

Sweden Uppsala University - Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing Index - Med Jones   


The History of Gross National Happiness
From modern political history, one can see happiness emphasized as part of a political philosophy, when the phrase "pursuit of happiness" was used as an important human right in 1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States. However, happiness policy remained an abstract idea, with no specific or real legislative, scientific and economic implementation framework....For about three decades, no real progress was made inside Bhutan...Most western economists considered the Bhutan GNH concept as touchy-feely until the introduction of the first scientific and secular GNH Index in 2005 (also known as GNW Index) by Med Jones, an American Economist at the International Institute of Management. Nicolas Sarkozy started a similar initiative in France calling for the inclusion of happiness and well-being in the criteria for national governance policies. He commissioned two Nobel Laureates and a French Economist, Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, and Jean Paul Fitoussi to develop a new framework for measuring happiness and well-being to overcome the limitation of GDP.... When comparing the message, language, and recommendations of IIM GNW of 2005 with CMEPSP report of 2009, one can find they are almost identical.

Monica Correa, Professor of History, Economics Department
Universidad Dr. Rafael Belloso Chac-n (URBE)

Universidad URBE Argentina - History of Gross National Happiness - Med Jones - Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen - OECD


Selling Happiness - A Thesis on Strategies in the Pursuit of Happiness
Obviously, due to the subjective weight associated to happiness, it is a difficult metric to quantify...Later on, GNH was recognized as a reliable socioeconomic measurement tool. An attempt to compute this approach was Med Jones's formula. Jones as stated that national policies had to be reviewed and new perspectives had to take into account happiness national outcomes and not just economic and businesses results (Jones, 2006) ....All those indicators being computed via direct survey and statistical measurements .(Jones, 2006). These indicators were also incorporated in the first Global GNH Survey (Jones, 2006)

Ana Sofia Faustino Rodrigues
ISCTE Business School
University of Lisbon

Portugal University of Lisbon - Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing - GNW - Index


Dalai Lama and Laurens van den Muyzenberg. What Buddhism Can bring to the managers?
Professor Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University psychologist, Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002...According to his research, happiness can be measured by following a day reconstruction method, which consists of recalling memories of the day previous work by writing a diary. In 2006, a second series of measurements and contents of the BNB (GNH) is proposed by Med Yones, President of the International Institute of Management. Its metric measurement system socio-economic includes the mental and emotional well-being of a given country and the value of BNB, which is a function of indices of all the average per capita of (seven wellbeing dimensions).

Librairie Vuibert, Paris, 201 pages. (Page 27)
Ye YAO, Master in Prospective, Strategy, Organization
Under the supervision of Prof. Yvon PESQUEUX
Conservatoire national des arts et m'tiers (CNAM) France

France CNAM -2008 - Med Yones - GNH Index - Gross National Happiness - Dalai Lama



An Econometric Solution for Lebanon's Public Policy Management
The study explores groundbreaking and popular proposals that can be used for development for the Lebanese government... Upon analysis of the four measurement systems, it appears that the most important transformative developments originated by researchers at independent private think tanks, namely the GNW Index... The multidimensional integration of Gross National Wellbeing Index shifted the definition from psychology to economics and allowed economists to compute wellbeing as one metric to serve as a proxy to measure government performance, citizens wellbeing and development. Upon detailed analysis, it is clear that the OECD Better Life Index, BLI (2012) is based on CMEPSP Framework recommendations (2009) and both of them are strikingly similar to the original Gross National Wellbeing (2005).

Wardeh Safieh
MBA & Accounting Information Systems Program
Lebanese International University (LIU)

Lebanon - Gross National Wellbeing - GNW - Index - Lebanon - Med Jones - Joseph Stigtliz - Amartya Sen Nobel Prize Economics


Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI)
..feasibilities of using design for sustainable consumption and development will be constructed on the basis of historical and theoretical perspectives of research relevant to the problem, discovered by SCORAI network... A professor of economics Deirdre McCloskey (Chicago University) argues that a sense of happiness are the words of particular moment but the first Gross National Happiness (GNH) Survey analysed satisfaction of people using seven different indicator, including capability to satisfy economic conditions and quality of live environment: economic satisfaction (savings, debt and purchase power); environmental satisfaction: (pollution, noise and traffic); workplace satisfaction (job satisfaction, motivation, ethics, conflict, etc.); physical health (severe illnesses, overweight); mental health (usage of antidepressants, self-esteem, positive outlook); social satisfaction, including family and relationship satisfaction (domestic disputes, communication, support, sex, discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates, etc.); political satisfaction (quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts, etc.)  (Jones).... there is an apparent difference in providing social wellbeing by GDP and GNH indexes: the first one reflects material and economic wealth, the second one social aspect, i.e. satisfaction with life in general.

Research Proceedings,
Professor Dr. Aija Freimane,
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Design Thinking and Paradigm Shift of Design

Latvia - Gross National Happiness and Well-Being Index - Happiness Economics - Med Jones




A  Modern History of Happiness as Economic Policy
The Global GNW/GNH Survey and the GNW/GNH Index proposed in 2005 have been developed with the aim of measuring Happiness and Well-being across populations in different countries. The key recommendations were to use an integrated decision framework and measurement tool that combines subjective and objective measures and helps governments manage development policies. The Bhutan Local GNH Index is similar to the econometric framework of the first scientific (and secular) GNH (GNW) framework and Index published in 2005.... The publishing of the framework was a turning point that allowed economists to formulate similar policies like the GNH framework inside and outside Bhutan... [The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (CMEPSP] report provided similar recommendations to those of the GNW / GNH paper of 2005.

Professor Deidre Rose, Ph.D. Anthropologist 
Department of Sociology and Anthropology 
University of Guelph

University Canada - History of Happiness Economics and Public Policy - Med Jones


Government of Goa: 2035 Vision and Roadmap
Happiness is treated as a socioeconomic development metric in 2006 by Med Jones. He tracked seven development areas. [The development council] proposes that Goa should become the first state in India to start the process of measuring happiness ...Goa considers this (happiness) to be the most critical socioeconomic development Indicator. The council also wishes Goa to be not only the happiness state in India but the world.

Report to Chief Minister (page 111)
Chairman and Members of the Goa Development Council
Government of State of Goa

Goa - India - Gross National Well-Being Index (GNW Index) a.k.a. Gross National Happiness (GNH Idex)- Med Jones



Community Wellness Plan - Sustainable Development Plan 2009 
[Adapted from Med Yones, 2006] The Gross National Happiness concept clearly captures the complexity of sustainable development, and includes both human and social indicators, including indicators of: 1.0 Economic Wellness; 2.0 Environmental Wellness; 3.0 Physical Wellness; 4.0 Mental Wellness 5.0; Workplace Wellness; 6.0 Social Wellness; 7.0 Political Wellness ...The Green Light District's vision is ambitious- making the Southside of Williamsburg the most sustainable neighborhood in the country. (See pages 103-118 for GNW Implementation)

The Green Light District (Brooklyn) Community Wellness Plan Studio - New York City Government.
Pratt Institute - El Puente

 New York City - NYC Brooklyn - Community Planning - Med Yones - Gross National Wellness Index (GNW Index)


Edmonton City Economic Development Vision 2030

The focus for EEDC is on outcomes associated with commitment to a long-term vision. Understandably it is important to also develop near-term indicators as tools to evaluate progress. Involvement of the community is foundational to both. Potential Measurement Approaches: ..Treating happiness as a socioeconomic development metric (by the International Institute of Management)

Sustainable Development Report Recommendations
Edmonton City, Alberta Canada

City of Edmonton, Canada Vision 2030: Happiness Economics - GNH - IIM - Med Jones


Bangladesh Planning Commission: Shortcomings of GDP and Wellbeing Measurement

One of the objectives of this project is to expand the capacity of the public planners so that the planners have the basic understanding on how an economy works, particularly a developing economy like Bangladesh. With better understanding of the economy and the public policies, planners will be able to analyze the economic issues with greater rigor and confidence and this will be reflected in crafting national policy documents....

The general consensus is that an increase in GDP of a country means that its people are better off. But this may not always be the case as GDP data are far from being perfect measures of economic welfare.... [Gross National Happiness] concept has now evolved into a socioeconomic development framework... A related concept is that of the Gross National Wellness (GNW) Index, developed in 2005 by the International Institute of Management in USA. This index is based on the following seven dimensions: economic, environmental, physical, mental, work, social and political.

Text Book: Introduction to Macroeconomics [With Application to Bangladesh Economy]
Dr. Kazi Iqbal, Senior Economist, UNDP Sustainable and Inclusive Planning (SSIP) Project
Amin Bin Hasib, General Economics Division (GED)
Republic of Bangladesh

United Nations - UNDP - Sustainable Development -  Gross National Wellbeing Index - Med Yones - GNH 2005 - Bangladesh Planning Commission


Second Arab Statistical Conference 2009.
To develop a measure of progress in societies that takes into account the social, cultural and economic dimensions, where some have this indicator takes into account the growth of the GNH Index Happiness Index (GNH) (Ref: Med Yones, 2006)

Dr. Louay Shabana Regional Director for Arab States
United Nations Population Fund

United Nations Population Fund Statistics Conference - Med Yones GNH Index


Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists
Linking Policy and Strategic Trajectories in Social Capital Development and Civic Engagement... Testing the GNH methodology and metric measures of human wellness (See page 7-12 for Gross National Wellness and Happiness Application)

Costy (BT) Costantinos, PhD School of Graduate Studies
Department of Management and Public Policy, College of Management, Information and Economic Sciences
Addis Ababa University

Ethiopia Gross National Wellness - GNW - GNH Index Application - Med Yones


Lunch with a Leader: A Decade of Happiness Study
Jones set out to explore a subject that many purveyors of 'the dismal science' usually deem untouchable... "Unless you provide them [economists] with the framework to manage and track the well-being and happiness of their people they're not going to do anything about it," he says...The work and ideas of Jones ...soon gained momentum. In 2009, the-then French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, announced a plan to measure happiness instead of gross domestic product, a more traditional state benchmark. The UK followed several years later, with the creation of a 'National Well-being' index in 2012... [Jones has] a level of insight into happiness that might rival that of an ancient sage.

Paul Crompton, Journalist, Al Arabiya News Channel
(Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia - Med Jones - Happiness Economics - Al-Arabiya News


National development is usually measured using GDP (gross domestic product) or GNP (gross national product)...There can be no doubt that accurately measuring psychological factors like happiness, contentment and harmonious relations is a most difficult task due to their subjective nature but nevertheless some measurements can be made. Significant effort is being expended in this venture. The president of the International Institute of Management proposed that the following measures be included in arriving at the GNH. These are economic wellness, environmental wellness, physical wellness, mental wellness, social wellness, workplace wellness, and political wellness. These all contribute to citizens' happiness and constitute a more thorough and accurate measure of development...Thus plans for national development must assume a more holistic approach...This requires a fresh and bold approach to developmental economics in which the happiness and welfare of people come first. For this to happen we must first find the right leaders and enlightened thinkers.

The Guardian - Professor Prakash Persad
University of Trinidad & Tobago
(Trinidad and Tobago)

Trinidad and Tobago - Gross National Wellbeing - Happiness - GNW Index - GNH Index - Med Yones


Developing and defining the model of wellbeing in the educational context
there were other influential studies which supported and informed the framework within (the design of this framework within the UK secondary school context). A model that explains wellbeing through broader organisational structures and systems is reflected in research by the President of International Institute of Management, Med Jones' (2006) who researched wellbeing on a national scale....This model is holistic and encompasses all three domains from the main framework of my research.... Indeed Jones' model represents the finer detail of the final model of wellbeing which enabled the inclusion of relevant factors such as conflict... These factors can then be measured quantitatively; as Med Jones has demonstrated in his seven metric measures of socio-economic development .

..Subjective expressions of wellbeing within the school working environment it is argued in my research can be transformed into meaningful quantitative data to explore issues that surround wellbeing (Jones, 2006).. "The purpose of the... framework is to bridge the development gap between objective western, yet incomplete socioeconomic policy framework and holistic yet subjective eastern philosophy". (Jones, 2006)

Research Paper: Teachers' Perceptions of Their Own Wellbeing At Work
Vivienne Ekwulugo, PhD, Doctor of Education
Brunel University London
(United Kingdom)

United Kingdom Brunel University London- Med Jones - Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing - GNW- GNH - Index


The History of a Cultural Movement that Aspired to Transform America

[Among the 20th century initiatives]  the International Institute of management's Gross National Wellbeing...

Book: Happier? (Page 232 Note: 55). Oxford University Press
Daniel Horowitz, A Historian and Professor of American Studies Emeritus at Smith College and Chair of Mary Huggins Gamble Foundation

Oxford University Press - History of Gross National Wellbeing to Transoform America


Design Against Crime - A Human Centered Approach
In 2005, International Institute of Management proposed Gross National Happiness metric which covers factors such as combination of complaints of domestic conflicts, lawsuits, and crime rates. In the UK, research into Wellbeing conducted by the Office of National Statistics (2016), includes crime as a factor.

Design for Social Responsibilities Series (Book - Page 44)
Caroline L. Davy  and Andrew W. Wootton
(United Kingdom)

Salford University Economics - Med Jones - GNH 2005 Design Against Crime


A New Socioeconomic Development Framework
For the past eight decades many scientists and politicians have recognized the limitations of Gross Domestic (GDP) and GNP centered public policy. However, only in the last decade the world has seen a real advancement in providing an alternative to GDP development model... Gross National Wellbeing or GNW, (Jones, 2005) a.k.a Gross National Happiness (GNH)...a policy making and measurement tool centered on mental and physical health and wellbeing with an integrated framework that measures subjective and objective wellbeing covering economic, health & safety, social and education, and government...After 2005, the research on the subject exploded. Several public, academic and private initiatives were launched by famous economists and organizations...After studying the literature, all initiatives from 2009 until 2016 use similar frameworks with similar dimensions, just rearranged or presented in different ways to suit the perspective of the authors... GNW can be used at the individual level, at the regional level as well as the national level. All investments of public time, effort, money and projects should be tested against this integrated multidimensional model instead of the production based model (GNP).

Dr. Jean Bosco ELAT NFETAM
Permanent Secretary, NACC
Ministry of Public Health

Gross National Well-Being Index (GNW Index) a.k.a. Gross National Happiness (GNH Idex) Cameroon - Med Jones


Book: Wake Up India! - Essays For Our Times
The white paper produced and addressed to America primarily by IIM as a result of the above mentioned survey is worth looking at briefly, for the sake of Indian cities...The state, the government - the rulers - the laws/the judiciary, the bureaucracy/administration ...are not entirely responsible for this state of things, the paper suggests. The truth is that such radical poverty - a giant problem - cannot be tackled or alleviated on a giant footing if nation and state... remain intact as the main ideological concepts and philosophical constructs of the twenty first century.

Professor Dr Ampat Varghese Koshy, PhD Education
Jazan University

India - Saudi Arabia - Jazan - University - Gross National Wellbeing - GNW - Index - Med Yones - IIM


How to Calculate Your Net Happiness
In 2006, Med Jones, the President of International Institute of Management, proposed an index that treats happiness as a socioeconomic metric.

Marelisa Fabrega, Juris Doctor
Georgetown University Law Center

Georgetown University Juris Doctor Marlesia - Med Jones Gross National Happines Index


Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JNSA)
Key Findings and Recommendations (Well-being / Happiness)
There is a strong argument for gaining a better understanding of the happiness of a population. Jones states that the "mental and emotional well-being of citizens improves their performance and broadens the intellectual, physical and social resources of a nation." ...Happiness and wellbeing are inexplicably linked to health, mental health as well as economic factors....The work of the public sector as a whole is to reduce unhappiness.

JSNA Steering Board, England
(United Kingdom)

UK- England - Med Jones - Well-Being and Happiness Economics - England, UK



Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System
In 2006, Med Jones, President of International Institute of Management proposed tracking seven wellness areas (for Gross National Happiness)

Confronting Capitalism
Professor Philip Kotler, PhD. Financial Times' One of the Most Influential Management Gurus
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Gross National Happiness and Wellness Solution - Med Yones 


Psychology Today Journal - The Missing Piece in Sustainable Peace
The enhancement of current data-based indices for annual reporting on state and regional levels of sustainable peace. This project could build on the Global Peace Index for measuring and reporting on sustainable peace worldwide, but integrate promotive, pro-social assessments. This initiative could be informed by such initiatives as the Gross National Happiness Index (Med Jones, 2006), the eight bases of a Culture of Peace (UN Resolution A/RES/52/13), and the Peace Scale (Klein, Goertz & Diehl, 2008).

Professor Dr. Peter T. Coleman, Director of the ICC and Conflict Resolution
Columbia University

University of Columbia - Psychology Today - The Missing Piece in Sustainable Peace - Med Jones - USA - Peter Coleman


Sustainability and Complexity, a Few Lessons from Modern Systems Thinking

Operationalization and measure of sustainability and sustainable development (One of the models is Gross National Happiness designed by the International Institute of Management - (See Reference Section)
Czeslaw Mesjasz, Professor of Economics
University of Krakow

Poland Krakow Economics University - Gross National Happiness - Med Yones



Creating A Happy Taiwan - National Thesis Competition Library
Med Yones, proposed considering happiness as a socioeconomic development goal and proposed seven measures including mental and emotional health

Huang Jinghan
National Pingtung Women's Library
National Chung Hsing University

Taiwan National Chung Hsing University - Med Jones Happiness Economics GNH Index


Book: Grassroots mobilization, Co-production of Public Policy and the Promotion of Participatory Democracy by the Brazilian Solidarity Economy Movement
Med Yones, the president of the International Institute of Management, conceives quality of life as being inseparable from good governance and operationalized these concepts in 2006 as a set of macroeconomic statistical indicators. This metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking seven development areas, including the nation's mental and emotional health. GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following measures, each of them being a combination of a plurality of related indicator.

Dr. Ana Margarida Esteve, PhD Department of Sociology, Brown University
Co-founder of Associa''o Academia Cidad' The Citizenship Academy

Brazil Public Policy - Gross National Wellbeing GNW Index and GNH Index -Med Jones


The American International Institute of management has presented  a well-being GNW combination meter. The model includes seven sub-areas that each has an impact on experiencing well-being.

Mental Health Project - Thesis
Jenni Koivuranta, and Katariina Ylinampa
Department of Health and Welfare
Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Finland Lapland University Gross National Wellbeing -  GNW - Med Jones


What is Sustainability?
It (happiness policy) would also generally be considered impossible to design. This is because it is very hard to know what makes people happy... if measured by objective standards, turns out to be equivalent to what we call well-being [Yones, Med]... However, to the extent that happiness does depend on objective conditions external to the individual, policy can and indeed should promote them.

John Farrington Institute for Rural Research, Geography and Environment, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, (UK)
Tom Kuhlman Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Wageningen University,  (Netherlands)

Netherlands Wgeningen Univresity Economics - Gross National Wellbeing GNW Index -  Med Yones


Book: International Community Organizing: Wellbeing
One way of thinking about the quality of life is exploring the questions under the concept of wellbeing. This is mostly subjective...but there are also attempts to produce more objectives ways of measure well-being linked...For our purpose a more applicable example comes from Med Jones (2006) who identified seven measures of wellness...There are macro indicators to suggest how well a society is, or is not, doing in promoting over all wellness of its population. They can of course scaled down to look at urban areas and it would reasonable to ask how far the community organizations has had an impact on these indicators.

Dave Beck, Manager  Post Graduate Program in Community Development  University of Glasgow Scotland 
Rod Purcell, Board Member International Association of Community Development
(United Kingdom)

UK - University of Glasgow - Economics History - Med Jones - USA


American Society of Public Administration - Environmental Policy
GNH, like ecological economics, embraces a systems approach, connecting many components of the human system in order to determine overall happiness (International Institute of Management 2006)
Book: Environmental Decision Making in Context (Page 88)
Prof. Chad McGuire
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

USA - University of Mass USA - Gross National Happines and Wellbeing - GNH Index and GNW Index - Med Jones




Restructuring GNH
The first GNH (Gross National Happiness) survey...The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking 7 development areas including the nation's mental and emotional health... Since then, the kingdom of Bhutan, with the support of UNDP (UN Development Program), began to put this concept into practice, and has attracted the attention of the rest of the world with its new formula to measure the progress of a community or nation.

Dr. Gaurav Sachar, Professor at UITTR
Chandigarh College of Education
Chandigarh University

India Chandigarh Univesity - Gross National Wellness and Happiness Sruvey - Med Yones


Can government deliver on issues like happiness and tolerance?
This week, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared a new federal cabinet. It included a new minister of state for happiness - a post that surprised some international observers... Over several decades, the idea was developed in different private-sector and academic institutions. The International Institute of Management in 2005 proposed a gross national well-being index In 2010, the University of Oxford launched the multidimensional poverty index that promotes analysis of psychological well-being, and in 2014, the UK government launched its own well-being statistics. In 2012, the United Nations general assembly adopted a resolution where it recognised "the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal" and stated that gross domestic product "does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people".

...This is not without good reason - and in the Arab world, there are at least two examples (Egypt and Tunisia) of where an ignorance of a country's well-being preceded upheaval...If we return to the root of the well-being or happiness indexes that are now ingrained in the international community, there is a real opportunity for the UAE in the creation of this portfolio. The new happiness minister's (Ohood Al Roumi) challenge is a real one and the stakes are high. This is true well beyond the UAE. Rather than be surprised that there is a post of minister of state for happiness, we ought to see the position as incredibly important and scrutinise its developments.

UAE - Dubai - Minister of Happiness - Med Jones - Gross National Wellbeing Index - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid - Ohood Al Roumi

Dr HA Hellyer, Associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London,
Non-resident senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.
The National Newspaper


Dubai Government Happiness Initiative
Med Jones receives Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid's "win = victory and love" appreciation award for his kind participation [in UAE's first happiness forum] which has had significant impact on helping in people's happiness, serving community, and for social partnership.

Major General Mohammed Al Marri
Head of the commission for social development and Director General, GDRFA, Dubai

Dubai Government - 0UAE - Happiness Economics - Happiness Ministry - Med Jones



Kingdom of Happiness
In recent months, demonstrators around the world have been demanding a change in the current capitalist system. In the United States alone, demonstrations were held in about 100 cities under the slogan "Occupy Wall Street" - a call that calls for a halt to financial rule based solely on economic growth. GDP, a measure that examines and compares the gross domestic product of the countries of the world, is an economic prism that is too narrow to look at human progress.... The latest development in the index, published in 2006 by American professor Mad Jones, president of the International Institute of Management (IIM) in the United States, answers the overcomes this disadvantage. Jones stated that the degree of happiness of a given country can be estimated according to the total per capita average of the following criteria (thus increasing the number of subjects)...

Netta Ahituv, Journalist
Haaretz Newspaper Israel

Israel Haaretz Gross National Happiness and Wellbeing Index - Med Jones


Critical Assessment of the Feasibility For Religious Application
The rationale behind this [IIM GNH Index] proposal was that the gross domestic product growth rate is not a comprehensive measure to determine the country's health and well-being. In the new measurement measure the wellbeing of the nation.

Dr. Ali Paya is a Professor of Philosophy at the Islamic College (London), Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Sciences and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University (Tehran), and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.

Iran - Gross National Wellbeing - GNW - Index


Effect of Vertical Integration on Multidimensional Well‑being of Fish Farmers in Lagos State Fish‑hub, Nigeria
The data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Gross National Wellness (GNW) Index and Average Treatment Effect (ATE). The result of the GNW Index shows that both the integrated and non‑integrated farmers ranked the indicators of multidimensional wellness in the same order. They were satisfied with their social relations (8.70); physical and health status (7.91); mental and emotional status (7.41); work and income status (5.87) as well as their economic and retirement status (5.68). However, they were dissatisfied with the political and government condition (4.73) as well as their living environment (3.77)

Opeyemi Eyitayo Ayinde, Hussain Kobe Ibrahim, Mercy Funke Salami, Lanre Ebenezer Ajibola
Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin

Nigeria Gross National Wellness (GNW) Index - Med Yones


Building a Viable Nigeria in the World Petroleum Crisis
The imminent "World Oil Crisis" has far reaching implications that could compound our current poor state of national well-being. It indeed calls for an extensive brainstorming..Nations with foresight are beginning to device mitigation efforts and develop feasible alternatives... Viable States have positive indicators that derive from enabling and supportive infrastructure and systems...This can be supported with the Gross National Wellness Index (GNW Index).

Tosin Ogunmola
Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE)

Nigeria Gross National Wellness Index GNW Index Med Yones


The idea of happiness is not new. Many researchers wanted to include or incorporate happiness in their work. Thomas Jefferson claims that pursuit for happiness must be in line with life and liberty. Jeremy Bentham shows that public policy is accountable for happiness. In 1972, Gross National Happiness focused in increasing the citizen's happiness in Bhutan. But the quantitative measures used was not very clear. In 2005, Med Jones improved the Gross National Happiness and changed its name to Gross National Well-Being. Gross National Well-Being uses measured based on the socio economic development characteristics.

Proceedings of International Conference on Economics
Shee Siew Yiap and Caroline Geetha, Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy, University of Malaysia Sabah

Malaysia University Gross National Wellbeing Index - GNW Index - Med Jones


Assessing Financing Models to the Goals of Sustainable Consumption
Yones's (2006) work brings clarity to measures which could be used instead of GDP. Yones (2006) calls it Gross National Wellness (GNW). The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking seven development areas... there is movement in thought and policy towards better alignment with social and ecological systems, and in understanding what these metrics measures are give a better understanding of the purpose or goal of the economic system.

Yusuf Aboobaker 
University of Pretoria
South Africa

South Africa - Med Yones - GNH - GNW Index - Gross National Wellness


Toward The Gross National Wellness (2006)
If one succeeds in getting a mechanism that works it is possible to get the tallest index of happiness...With this strategy it is possible to effectively direct toward new values the human, both individual and collective behaviours. If the objective of a true democracy is that to give to every individual the dignity, the happiness, the parity with the others...then it is necessary to study and to predispose not only the material context, but also the mental one, in which to achieve.

Maurizio Cucchiara
Economics and MBA
HEC Lausanne - School of Business
University of Bologna

Italy - University of Bologna - Gross National Wellness (GNW) - Med Yones


GNH Instead of GDP?
Med Yones, president of International Institute of Management, moved the concept of the GNH to another level, treating it as a socioeconomic development metric.

Maureen Morgan
Westfair Online

GNH instead of GDP - Med Jones - USA


Historical Time Line of Happiness Development Initiatives:

  • 1972- Bhutan's King introduced the Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy [IIM note: This a common error made by many in academia and media. In I972, Sicco Mansholt used the phrase in a letter to the European Commission. Despite wide erroneous citations, Bhutan used the same phrase many years later.]

  • 2005- International Institute of Management introduced second generation GNH (GNH 2.0), the first GNH Index and the first Global GNH Index Survey

  • 2006- The International Institute of Management published a policy white paper for the implementation of GNH philosophy in the US.

  • 2007- Thailand released Green and Happiness Index (GHI).

  • 2009- In the United States, the Gallup poll system launched the happiness survey collecting data on national scale. The Gallup Well-Being Index

  • 2010- The Centre for Bhutan Studies further defined the original four pillars...he Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative OPHI at the University of Oxford in UK, launched the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP). Similar to the GNH Index of 2005, OPHI promotes collection and analysis of data on five dimensions including Quality of work, Empowerment, Physical safety, Ability to go about without shame, Psychological wellbeing.

  • 2011- The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised happiness as a "fundamental human goal" and called for "a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples".

  • 2012- The first ever Happiness took place and the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness would be observed every year on 20 March. It was celebrated for the first time in 2013.

Professor K. MANIMEKALAI, Editor in Chief.
Alagappa University

India - Med Jones - History of  Gross National Wellbeing Index (GNW Index)  at Alagappa University


The Problem of Measuring and Comparing the Level of Economic Development of Countries.
A number of problems of traditional indicators hinders the state to effectively carry out its activities and correctly assess the welfare of society. Prominent scientists and economists, laureates of the Nobel Prize in economics, engaged in questions of qualitative and accurate measurement of the economic development of countries and the world society at different times. These are the works of Nobel laureates in economics S. Kuznets, R. Solow, J. Stiglitz and A. Sen...

Of great importance for the work were the works on the study of the problems of traditional economic indicators and the proposal of alternative ones, conducted by A.G. Rodionov-Zrazesky , T. Kalenn , N. Marx and A. Simms , R. Constance, M. Jones, R. Basu....

In 2006, based on that concept, M. Jones proposed 7 indicators by which the GNH / GNW could be measured. In fact, this approach determines happiness from the socioeconomic point of view of measuring human development. It can be noted that not all indicators are purely economic. However, in most cases they are both quantitative, i.e. most of them can be measured due to statistical data, and also the GNH contains a qualitative measurement, a number of indicators are those...

On July 19, 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled "Happiness: a holistic approach to development,"...

In 2011, China began to realize its own happiness index... Conclusion: The importance of macroeconomic indicators in the modern world is determined by the desire of the state to improve the quality and well-being of its citizens. Qualitative indicators that adequately reflect the problem are necessary for the state when drawing up the necessary policy of reform and state participation in the economy.
Repetitora (Educator Library of Scientific Articles)
Russian Federation


Developing Life Cycle Environmental Indicators
In 2005, the International Institute of Management, USA proposed Gross National Well-being (GNW) index, which is known as the second generation GNH. The purpose of the new generation GNH was to implement a practical and more comprehensive framework that can bridge the development gap between the objective but incomplete western socioeconomic policy framework and the holistic but subjective eastern political philosophy. In 2009, the Gallup poll system organised national happiness survey in USA based on this GNW model.

Sheikh Mohammad Shafiqul Alam, PhD
Queensland University of Technology

Australia Queensland University - Gallup - Med Jones Gross National Wellbeing Index - GNW Index


20 Visions of Life in the Year 2020
We will certainly see a new definition of GDP as a result as well (maybe even 'gross national wellbeing')."

Gerd Leonhard, Futurist
Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts

Vision 2020 Gross National Wellbeing Index GNW Index will replace GDP - Med Yones



Evidence of Potential Academic Misconduct and Fabrication of the Bhutanese GNH History

The following research notes are courtesy the GNH Institute and Professor Lauchlan T. Munro, University of Ottawa. Canada.

Professor Lauchlan T. Munro, the Director of the School of International Development and Global Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa in Canada, was a member of the Royal Bhutanese Civil Service, between 1985 and 1987. He worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada, a government agency that funded the GNH research. He also served as Chief of Strategic Planning for the United Nations' UNICEF. During the time he served in Bhutan, he did not see any evidence to support several historical claims made by Dasho Karma Ura and the Government of Bhutan. He published an academic paper titled: Where Did Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Come From? The Origins of An Invented Tradition, (2016) at the Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs; Professor Munro presented evidence of "invented tradition", "myth-making" and “great exaggeration" in the scientific literature. The following excerpts provide some of the research conclusions: "In its Ninth Five-year Plan 2002–2007, the Planning Commission of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) stated: “Gross National Happiness…has been the guiding principle of the country’s development efforts for the last two decades.” However, Professor Munro affirms that the year 1996 is the point where the tradition of GNH as Bhutan’s "long-standing national development policy" was invented. He studied the government documents and concluded: “To summarise... none of the Royal Government’s programmatic or policy documents from the 1960s to the mid-1990s referred to GNH...“Nor can GNH be found in the fourth king’s own official pronouncements to his people. A hagiographic tribute to the fourth king published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his ascension to the throne credits the fourth king with being the creator of GNH, but none of the 53 royal edicts reproduced in the collection mentions GNH.."

Professor Munro points out that "the President of the semi-official think tank, the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research, Dasho Karma Ura...have supported a variety of claims regarding GNH’s origins. Even this center of GNH orthodoxy does not have a consistent or verifiable storyline regarding the origins of GNH."

Our independent research supports the findings of Professor Munro.  For example, in the Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Operationalization of Gross National Happiness Edited by KARMA URA & KARMA GALAY. Ura writes "His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan, first enunciated the principles of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, using this specific terminology in the late 1980s". (Reference: Preface of Bhutan GNH Conference Proceedings 2004). That page was originally published at: www.bhutanstudies.org.bt but later the file was removed.) In numerous other documents researchers trustingly repeat a contradictory claim of Dasho Karma Ura that the concept was created in 1972 by the King of Bhutan and that the GNH Index was created by Dasho Karma Ura in 2008. (Reference: Bhutan GNH Commission Presentation 2013 to the OECD). 

Professor Munro, writes, "The Royal Government and its allies in CBS and elsewhere have marketed GNH to such audiences with great skill, aplomb and success."

Bhutan's Government Gross National Happiness (GNH) Human Rights Violations and Propaganda

In the 1990s, in compliance  of one the of the pillars of Bhutan's national versionGNH policy, i.e. the promotion and preservation of the Buddhist culture,  the government of Bhutan conducted one of the largest religious-ethnic cleansings against minority Nepalese of Hindu faith. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Over 100,000 or 1/6 of the population of Bhutan of Nepalese origin and Hindu faith were expelled from the country because they “would not integrate with Bhutan’s Buddhist culture.” – (Reference: HRW)

According to the Refugee Council of Australia “It is extraordinary and shocking that a nation can get away with expelling one sixth of its people and somehow keep its international reputation largely intact. The Government of Bhutan should be known not for Gross National Happiness but for Gross National Hypocrisy." (Reference: Refugee Council of Australia)


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