Qualitative research such as the South African Participatory Poverty Appraisal has shown the extent to which change matters for those who are poor (May and Norton, 1997). Concern about future vulnerability and shocks, expectations that some event might dramatically transform their lives such as births, deaths and entry into the labour market, and anticipation of obtaining entitlements such as government grants are frequently described as being either features of poverty or as strategies that might offer pathways out of poverty. Each of these events is integrally caught up with the demographic and socio-economic life-cycle that individuals and fa milies undergo as time passes (Chayanov, 1966). In South Africa, the analysis of such change has relied upon cross-sectional studies or upon census data. Although useful, these data are unable to address a variety of questions, particularly those concerning dynamic processes and causal linkages. To address this gap, the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study (KIDS) was undertaken by a consortium of South African and international researchers in 1998 which reinterviewed 1100 households first surveyed in 1993 as a part of the national Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development (PSLDS). KIDS has just been extended by a further 5 years with a resurvey conducted in 2004. The study has also expanded to include adult children of the original sample who have established their own households and children who are being cared for by others. The methodology has also broadened to encompass both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The quantitative component now provides a three period panel study that should yield a unique insight through the collection of survey data that spans South Africa’s transition over a decade, the introduction of many policies intended to reduce poverty, as well as the era in which the impact of rapid HIV/AIDS infection is beginning to be felt. The in-depth qualitative research associated with the current study further focuses on some of these important issues by investigating changing household structure, caring patterns in households in which there are long-term ill members and livelihood activities. This paper begins with a brief review of the usefulness of panel data before detailing the methodology and progress of this study. Procedures followed for KIDS 2004 will be described in detail and a very preliminary analysis of the attrition rates achieved in 1998 and 2004 is presented. The paper concludes with an assessment of the research program including information about public access of the KIDS 2004 data.