This Working paper considers interventions by two organisations, in light of the working paper theme of linking livelihood approaches with recent work in the area of political economy. Save the Children-UK (SC-UK) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) work in southern Somalia and aim to support livelihoods within a situation of chronic conflict and political instability (SCCPI). This paper describes the context in which the two organisations work in terms of the livelihood systems within southern Somalia, political economy themes as they relate to southern Somalia and programming possibilities in the area. The authors critically review two livelihood support programmes as case studies. These case studies aim to draw out the ways in which and to what extent the programmes of SC-UK and ICRC support livelihoods. How, and to what extent, the analysis of the political economy informs decision making by the two organisations is also explored.