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Faith-Based Evaluation

A recent White House report spotlights success of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, but some are still skeptical.

The White House released a 175-page report Monday highlighting the accomplishments of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiative.

The report received little attention in the mainstream media, but the Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy reported that the reactions varied from support to dismissal.

Outspoken critic of the office, former deputy director David Kuo told the Roundtable, "If they had fulfilled the President's promises, there wouldn't be any need for a glossy PR document that only proves the Initiative's great failures."

The report spotlights the office's training of more than 100,000 religious and grassroots organizations, and it has encouraged faith-based efforts in 35 states and more than 100 cities.

Supporters have lauded the program by saying that it helped level the playing field for religious organizations to compete for grants. However, lower funds made it more difficult for anyone to compete.

"While faith-based organizations were getting a bigger piece of the pie, the pie was shrinking," David Wright, project director for the Roundtable said in the article.

The office's Director Jay Hein told the Roundtable that the Initiative should not be judged by a tally of spending.

"This is not an Initiative about money," Hein said. "This is an Initiative about problem-solving. Problems don't get solved by spending more money."

Previous CT coverage includes a recent interview with former director John Dilulio.

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