Vulnerability assessment remains central in global climatic change discourses and takes a more pertinent meaning considering that natural disasters continue to deeply affect human settlements. The challenge for many African nations is to absorb the social, economic and environmental impact caused by natural disasters while reducing poverty, developing infrastructure and providing livelihood opportunities in the continent. In recent years, severe weather-related events affected urban populations and challenged local institutions to adapt and to improve their coping and resilient capacities. Given the polyhedric and context-dependent nature of vulnerability, it is critical to adopt a conceptual framework that embraces different interpretations of vulnerability assessment. With special regard to climate-related vulnerability assessment, two main alternative methods can be distinguished. The two differing interpretations, conceptualized as outcome vulnerability and contextual vulnerability, can be linked to scientific and social sciences frameworks, respectively. It can be expected that each framework is going to prioritize and emphasize different types of climate adaptation strategies and policy response implications. Outcome vulnerability focuses on the end point of sequence of climatic analysis and can be conceptualized as a linear and modular procedure starting from a suitable down-scaling of climate projections, to climate-related hazard assessment, to vulnerability and exposure assessment, and finally to an evaluation of the risk as the prediction of future impact on urban areas. The contextual vulnerability envisions vulnerability as a starting point for developing climate strategies. In this interpretation, vulnerability is seen as a multi-faceted concept that is a product of different realities and causes that include but are not limited to natural hazards. Little Akaki, Addis Ababa, is known to be a flood-prone area based on past flooding experiences. Moreover, it has been characterized as a potential flooding risk hot spot. A joint field survey activity has been conducted on certain households in the Little Akaki zone, taking into account both the indicators of contextual vulnerability and also the buildings' physical and mechanical characteristics required for a quantified vulnerability assessment. Downscaled climate projection scenarios, implemented through a model of the hydrographic basin, have been employed in order to estimate the flooding hazard for the zone of interest. The building-specific field survey results have been used through a mechanical model of the buildings in order to quantify the structural vulnerability. The flooding risk can be finally mapped as a convolution of hazard, vulnerability and exposure. A social vulnerability survey was conducted to investigate the current conditions surrounded those mostly exposed and focus group sessions were undertaken to determine the interest, role and adaptive capacities of different stakeholders operating in the area. A multi-faceted outlook to the vulnerability of Little Akaki, emphasizes the importance of taking into account alternative interpretations in the adopted conceptual framework. Arguably, integrating the above two interpretations may well lead to climate policies that address a comprehensive range of issues and concerns.