JICA to help Bhutan for GNH census

Photo: Nepal Energy Forum
Photo: Nepal Energy Forum

Japan’s development agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said it would help Bhutan conduct a national survey later this year to measure “gross national happiness”, Kyodo News agency reported.

The agency quoted Akihiko Tanaka, president of JICA, saying his agency will send Japanese researchers to Bhutan to help improve the statistical accuracy of the “GNH” census.

Japan will also help the census-taking staff in Bhutan, Tanaka said.

Bhutan put a commitment to improving the “GNH” index in the 2008 Constitution and carried out “GNH” censuses in 2005, 2007 and 2010.

Tanaka was in Bhutan to attend ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Japan’s foreign aid program in the country.

The offer appears tricky because the most front bencher of the GNH campaign, Jigmi Thinley has been sidelined in Bhutan. Thinley has rarely made any public appearance since the election defeat last year and the new government has given less importance to streamlining of the concept.

The international campaign on GNH has almost died after the exit of Thinley from politics.

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