This report provides an assessment of the conditions in Montserrat by people in Montserrat. It begins by discussing the impact of the start of a volcanic eruption in 1995 on peopleÆs lives and government action. By 1998 a four-year Sustainable Development Plan was set out with a strategy to rebuild Montserrat and its social fabric. The report discusses peopleÆs own perceptions and definitions of poverty and hardship with reference to a wide range of factors. Three groups emerged as being particularly vulnerable: single headed households; the elderly; and the mentally challenged. A discussion is then made of coping strategies people have developed that illustrate a high degree of resilience and resourcefulness. Finally, a discussion is made about how PPA can help the sustainable development process. It is found that it provides a more disaggregated assessment of who is facing what levels of poverty and hardship; it can help to assess the impact of policies on peopleÆs lives; and it provides a more informal channel for feeding peopleÆs views up to the government.