A Policy Screening Tool

Bhutan uses GNH to evaluate, monitor, set goals and to raise national consciousness about what conditions are conducive to happiness. A key step in this process has been the development a GNH screening tool. This application is used by the GNH Commission to assess/review all draft policies, programmes and projects through a GNH lens. Whilst it is not the determining factor for ultimately approving/endorsing policy, it highlights specific recommendations and feedback to review the policy within the scope of the 9 domains of GNH.

It is the role of Bhutan´s Gross National Happiness Commission  to undertake screening on all government bills being developed before they are submitted to the Cabinet.

An intriguing example of the screening tool in action was the proposal for Bhutan’s accession to the WTO. Initially 19 0f 24 GNHCS (Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat) officers voted in favour of joining. After putting the policy through the Screening Tool 19 officers voted against on the basis that the policy was not GNH favourable. To date Bhutan has not joined the WTO)

The private sector is also not immune to GNH screening. It is not possible to start a new business without a license and before this is granted the business proposal needs to be put through a GNH screening process.

The Center for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research created policy decision-making tools that are used to screen policies for their effectiveness in promoting GNH.