The case study in this research was chosen for inclusion following a first phase review of the use of livelihoods approaches in Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Africa. Magu district is one of the poorest districts in Tanzania, located in the North-Western part bordering Lake Victoria. In 1995, CARE International (Tanzania) undertook a Rapid Food and Livelihood Security Assessment (RFLSA) to determine the extent of vulnerability in the Lake Zone. The RLSA confirmed widespread livelihood insecurity in the rural areas of the Lake Zone. Hence, the Magu District Livelihood and Food Security Project was introduced to address the causes of livelihood insecurity identified by the RFLSA. The case study is analysed according to a 'SL-grounded audit' and is divided into two sections: the first a general introduction to the intervention; and the second, a structured response to a series of questions adapted from the sustainable livelihoods (SL) principles. SL principles are one element of sustainable livelihoods approaches. This research adopts these principles as a structuring tool and as a means of pinpointing the practical implications of adopting a sustainable livelihoods approach to development.