Developing Countries, Econometrics and Policy Making
Policy design is not monopoly of scientist, and econometrics is not monopoly of economist: anyone can use it
For example on urbanization, a professor of urban and regional planning might use quantitative analysis on population growth (econometric) along with his urban development & planning theory he might urge to enact national urban development policy. The same method might be used by economist to assess the urbanization to child education for example.
Policy execution is monopoly of politician, or at least the one with power: power is expensive
On the execution, things is different game. In the waste management for example, an engineer might develop a powerplant using GALFAD techniques e.g Gasification, Landfill Gas, Anaerobic Digestion or even Pyrolysis to manage waste efficiently and effectively both from economic and environment perspective, and things might works. But on some degree, for example rural pollution, the one that really works is volunteering things that might argue that it does not have even a scale to do it massively without investment in education, culture changing, and large amount of money. true.
Should we be skeptic?
Our main problem now is our math is incorrect. In US, Military Budget is 50 times bigger than NASA budget. The importance of NASA which large part of it is on climate change is undenieable, to sent rocket to moon and going back its only required 0.0025 MToe of rocket fuel (2.5 million kg), but why military budget is far more bigger? simply because it is cheaper to execute military policy.
The same with situation in Indonesia, if environment budget is only 1%, it is simply because our (public) current level of commitment and attention for environment is just 1%. Nobody one to change it or criticize, because the effort to do that is require an amount of huge energy. The same with ASEAN dream of MEA.