In this article, conflict-induced displacement (CID) and ‘involuntary resettlement’ are explored through the prism of Cernea's (1997) ‘impoverishment risk and livelihood reconstruction’ model (IRLR) a framework originally conceived to assess development-induced displacement (DID) and resettlement. The paper tests the viability and utility of Cernea's IRLR model in the context of CID in Colombia. Seeking to demonstrate key theoretical distinctions between CID and DID, the author calls for a flexible, co-ordinated and protection-oriented approach to resettlement in situations of conflict. Drawn from surveys of over thirty state and non-governmental entities addressing resettlement of internally displaced people (IDPs) and a programmatic review of the ‘resettlement’ experiences in two resettled communities, the article seeks to refine Cernea's IRLR methodology for CID situations. From the research process it emerges that the IRLR model serves two purposes in the analysis of CID: as a planning tool to document the capacities of social actors; and as a framework for the analysis of key impoverishment risks facing victims of war.