This paper presents q-squared research into chronic poverty in rural Uganda. This research was undertaken in 2002 with the Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Three of nine sites were selected where an in-depth household survey had been recently undertaken by LADDER. Analysis of the household survey provided an understanding of assets, livelihood portfolios, basic demographics, key shocks and responses to shocks and patterns of change over the five years preceding the LADDER household survey. A mixed tool box of life histories, focus group discussions and key informant interviews was developed in order to generate evidence and analysis to help explain differential poverty trajectories (between study sites, cohorts and individual households) and to identify a range of explanatory variables for differential well-being outcomes.The paper shows that q-squared methods provide rich and robust data, which can be presented in a way that is of interest to a wide range of audiences. However, we face challenges as researchers when trying to feed research results into policy processes. These challenges partly relate to the political economy in many low-income developing countries, which mean that issues of interest to the poor and the chronically poor are unlikely to get onto policy agendas. The paper outlines the barriers to pro-poor policy making.