This report introduces the study the Humanitarian Policy Group's longitudinal study of 'Livelihoods in Crisis' in Northern Uganda. It covers the first phase of this long-term project with a foundation period in which key collaborative partnerships are established, background information from literature is analysed, the study area and sample population are chosen and the first data is collected from the sample group to give an initial picture of their livelihoods during the previous 12 months. Over the subsequent three years, the study will produce an annual report that presents and analyses the changes that the sample households and their communities have experienced during the year. This first report is the starting point and presents the first measure of the livelihoods of the households being followed, and provides an overview of the situation, to locate the study in the context of Pader District and Northern Uganda. Section 2 gives an overview of livelihoods in Pader, drawing on the existing literature. Section 3 presents the first analysis from the initial household economy data collected by the study, and thus provides a form of 'baseline' to which the study will refer over the next three years. The final section discusses some of the implications of the initial findings, and outlines the next steps for the project.