Choki Wangmo 

A three-party Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Gross National Survey 2021 was signed among Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Gross National Happiness Commission, and the Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) yesterday in Thimphu.

The 20-month survey, which involves designing survey and data collection tools, field survey enumeration, report writing and publication, and dissemination of survey findings are expected to start this May.

The overall survey cost funded by JICA is estimated at Nu 22.47 million for pre-and-post survey activities.

The survey that is conducted by CBS every five years aims to track changes in people’s happiness and wellbeing. The result of the survey is then used for evaluating the current Plan activities and also as an input for the next Five-Year Plan formulation. “The survey findings will be used as an input towards refining resources allocation formula and GNH screening tools,” said an official with the CBS.

Besides updating statistics for the next Plan, the survey is also expected to provide a timely reminder to the government and its performances.

The views of more than 11,000 randomly selected Bhutanese aged 15 years and above will be used for the survey.

About 100 university graduates will be recruited as survey enumerators who will be trained on understanding questionnaires and handling computer-assisted personal interviews for data collection.

The last GNH survey conducted in 2015 was also funded by JICA.