Our study examined the consequences of the economic reform programme on poverty and survival strategies in Ethiopia since 1989, with an emphasis on the rural economy. We used a very detailed household panel data set covering about 1450 households in 15 villages in rural Ethiopia, supplemented with some primary and secondary sociological and anthropological data. The emphasis has been on disentangling the effects of random events, such as good weather, from the effects of the reform programme. A key part of the study focused on six villages (or 350 households) for which we had detailed information from before the start of economic reform. Another part of the worked focused on household vulnerability to consumption and nutrition fluctuations, and the implications for measuring and understanding poverty.