Yangchen C Rinzin 

Gross National Happiness Commission secretariat (GNHC) needs an annual monitoring plan to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring programmes and projects on time.

This, respondents in the Satisfaction Survey Report on GNHC’s services, said was because the GNHC rarely monitors programmes and projects on time.

Respondents said that monitoring by the divisions was done in an ad hoc manner, and no monitoring or follow up report was prepared for the monitoring visits.

“This is why GNHC Secretariat should develop a monitoring framework/checklist undertaking regular or ad hoc monitoring visit,” the survey findings stated.

“A follow-up mechanism should be instituted immediately and review specific key national policies even if it doesn’t come from the ministries or sectors.

The survey that was carried out by the GNHC’s research and evaluation division was aimed at assessing and improving the service delivery of five divisions under the secretariat.

The report recommended that the secretariat should prioritise and monitor big impact projects or programmes. There was also a need for collaboration and coordination amongst all the divisions.

The survey report, which was released on Monday on GNHC’s website involved a total number of 213 responses all ministries, autonomous agencies, constitutional bodies, development partners, non-governmental organisations, and the local government. The respondents varied from support staff to the executive level.

Although the respondents indicated an overall satisfaction level when it comes to service delivery of GNHC secretariat, the survey also found that various areas needed improvement.

Respondents stated that different divisions coordinate poor meetings and that the secretariat has to call for sectorial coordination meetings on a regular basis or whenever required.

Many of the respondents also shared that unavailability of GNHC officials in the office was due to attending training or workshops, which happen most of the time.

“This has delayed the works,” the respondents stated.

The survey recommended that respective divisions should review and address why dealing officials were unavailable most of the time or never available.

The secretariat also has to ensure those officials who participate in meetings where decisions have to be made, are relevant and competent, the report stated.

“There’s a possibility that divisions within GNHC secretariat did not implement recommendations either because they failed to implement or it was not implementable or relevant,” the report stated.

“However, a follow-up note should be prepared on all recommendations and hold an annual meeting on the implementation.”

The respondents also stated that the secretariat can work on a quicker release of funds to finance ministry which would expedite implementation of the planned activities.

The report also showed that the process to release supplementary incorporation or pre-financing were complex.

“There is a lack of coordination between the finance ministry and GNHC,” the report stated.

“Keeping a reserve budget in GNHC for emergency, priority activities and developing an online system for supplementary incorporation was suggested.”

An official from research and evaluation division said that the recommendations were presented to the divisions and officials are expected to implement or adopt them.

The official said this was the first survey conducted to gather feedback from the sectors.

“We hope such a survey would help us improve in the service we deliver,” he said.