Bhutan launches Vulnerability Baseline Assessment Report

Oct 31, 2017

Thimphu, Bhutan - The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) launched the Vulnerability Baseline Assessment report for 14 groups that were identified as being vulnerable. The assessment was undertaken with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The elderly, persons with disabilities, women working in Drayangs, single parents and their children, and vulnerable city dwellers are among those who have been identified as vulnerable in Bhutan, according to the new report released today.

Speaking at the launch, Dasho Thinley Namgyel, Secretary of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Commission, said the RGoB in its pursuit of inclusive socio-economic development, and had identified addressing the needs of the vulnerable groups as one the sixteen National Key Result Areas in the 11th Five Year Plan (2013-2018).  This was done to ensure the benefits of socio-economic development reach the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of our population, in the process enhancing their standard of living and quality of life. He added that this was also in line with the global commitment to ‘Leave No One Behind’

He said , while many of the identified groups are already recognized by the Government as requiring targeted interventions, the report sheds additional  light on the social issues faced by vulnerable groups, the reasons behind certain vulnerabilities, and the readiness of Bhutan’s current policy, legal, and data landscape to address those challenges. The recommendations in the report will provide guidance in formulating strategies to address the issues faced by these vulnerable groups. The secretary mentioned that while the report was just being launched, the RGoB has already undertaken various initiatives to address the needs of some of the vulnerable groups with support from our development partners.

For instance, the government is already implementing targeted poverty reduction programs, the National Policy for Persons with Disability is being drafted, an assessment on the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is also under progress. The National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) is leading development of Bhutan’s first national Gender Equality Policy, as well as the first national survey to improve data on and understand of the prevalence of violence against women in Bhutan. In the 12th Five Year Plan targeted interventions for vulnerable groups has been identified as a key performance indicator for the National Key Result Area ‘Healthy and caring Society Enhanced’.

Mr. Gerald Daly, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Bhutan, commended the Government’s commitment to inclusive development, as captured by the focus of its next, 12th Five Year Plan on a “just, harmonious and sustainable society.”

“Bhutan’s development story is a remarkable and rapid one,” he said “with poverty levels cut in half over the life of the last two five year plans,” he said. “Ensuring people do not fall back into poverty will be critical to the nation’s continued success, and that will require focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable groups”.

“This Report is therefore a valuable and timely barometer for the Government and its development partners in advancing both Gross National Happiness and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Vulnerability Baseline Assessment report, developed with support from Austrian Development Cooperation and UNDP Bhutan will be available on GNHC and UNDP Bhutan website. 

Click here to download the report

Contact information

Namgay Wangchuk, Programme Manager, Inclusive Governance, UNDP Bhutan:

Email:; Phone number: +97517114574

Tashi Dorji, GNHC Email:

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