The world’s climate is continuing to change at rates that are projected to be unprecedented in recent human history. The impacts of climate change are likely to be considerable in tropical regions. Developing countries are generally considered more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than more developed countries, largely attributed to a low capacity to adapt in the developing world. Of the developing countries, many in Africa are seen as being the most vulnerable to climate variability and change. High levels of vulnerability and low adaptive capacity in the developing world have been linked to factors such as a high reliance on natural resources, limited ability to adapt financially and institutionally, low per capita GDP and high poverty, and a lack of safety nets. The challenges for development are considerable, not least because the impacts are complex and highly uncertain. The overall aims of the research programme on climate change and development in subSaharan Africa are to improve the ability of poor people to be more resilient to current climate variability as well as to the risks associated with longer-term climate change. The programme is designed to address the knowledge implications of interacting and multiple stresses, such as HIV/AIDS and climate change, on the vulnerability of the poor, and it will concentrate on approaches that work where government structures are weak. To help identify where to locate specific research activities and where to put in place uptake pathways for research outputs, information is required that relates projected climate change with vulnerability data.