Some countries in Asia and the Pacific have recognized the importance of an approach of development accounting for the progress in achieving the welfare of society. The principle describes development as a continuous process towards a balance between material and non-material needs of individuals and society. The country’s philosophy of development, while recognizing the importance of economic growth as essential, to support and nurture the spiritual and social needs of the community, is not an end in itself, but one among many means of achieving holistic development.

The theory of Gross National Happiness (GNH) established by His Majesty the King of Bhutan in 1972, is the foundation for development in Bhutan. GNH is based on the ideology that the pursuit of happiness is found in all people and is the strongest force of desires. Included in GNH is a “middle path” approach in which spiritual and material pursuits are balanced.

The new economics foundation (nef) has introduced the Happy Planet Index (HPI) that is new measurement shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered.

HPI has different rationale to the other alternative indicators which begin with GDP, and then minus social and environmental costs to create a more accurate measure of economic prosperity. The HPI calculates for the ecological efficiency with which countries deliver happiness and long lives for their people. The HPI incorporates 3 separate components: ecological footprint and life expectancy are objective variables while self-reported life satisfaction is subjective variables .

HPI = ((life satisfaction * Life expectancy )/Ecolgical footprint))

Four Pillars and impact
Gross National Happiness contains four main pillars:
  • Sustainable and equitable socio-economic development
  • Conservation of environment
  • Preservation and promotion of culture
  • Promotion of good governance

Largely because of GNH, Bhutan has seen improvement in many key development indicators, which include:

  • Per capita income
  • Life expectancy
  • Infant and maternal mortality rates
  • Health coverage
  • School enrollment
  • Literacy rates

Environmental conservation is also valued widely throughout Bhutanese society as many citizens’ sources of livelihood are dependent on their natural environment, especially those working agriculturally. It is commonly believed that irresponsible activities in nature will lead to negative and therefore unhappy outcomes.

The well-being indicators in Thailand have constructed in composite index that is covered in 7 components 25 sub-components

Health ,Knowledge,Working life ,Income and distribution ,Environment,Family life ,Good governance

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