30 Nov 2022

Fieldwork in Bhutan

How much happiness is in the happiest country in the world? Can qualitative research help us answer this question? Qualitative research data have been recognized as critically important to contribute to evidence-based policies which address environmental, social, and developmental challenges.

In the Erasmus+ HAPPY Project (www.happy-project.eu) we aim to assess the learning and teaching tools, methodologies, and pedagogical approaches on qualitative research methods and integrate them into the existing curricula of the 4 universities in Bhutan. IRI UL – Institute for Innovation and Development of University of Ljubljana and University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts are partners in the HAPPY project, which is coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

Our colleagues Tilen Šoštarič and Gregor Cerinšek recently returned from 15 days of fieldwork in Bhutan. They visited Royal Thimphu College, Royal University of Bhutan, Sherubtse College, College of Language and Culture Studies, and Norbuling Rigter College. It was an intense but enriching experience that helped us understand more the diverse local contexts together with opportunities and challenges for the future of qualitative research in Bhutan. We are almost halfway through – and looking forward to the return visit from the Bhutanese delegation which is planned for February/March 2023.