Climate change and increasing climate variability threaten the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), and some of the worst effects on human health and agriculture will be in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in vulnerable regions. The relationships between climate change and the vulnerability of resource-poor croppers and livestock keepers and their resilience to current and future climate variability need to be better understood. This paper describes the generation of information that combines projected climate change in agricultural systems with vulnerability data. The results of the analysis, in terms of vulnerable people particularly at risk for deleterious effects of climate change, are being used for impact assessment, targeting and priority setting, to help identify locations for specific research and adaptation activities. Given the heterogeneity in households’ access to resources, poverty levels and ability to cope, vulnerability assessments need to be done at the sub-national level to help improve the adaptive capacity and coping strategies of highly vulnerable households.