This contribution to the NERC-DFID Desakota project aims to review linkages between Desakota and vulnerability, disasters and poverty. Approaching this task required work on the conceptualisation of Desakota, the outcomes of which are also summarised in this work. The discussion provides a framework for the analysis of interactions between development and disaster risk under Desakota conditions. This is then applied in detail across nine Desakota criteria; finally, integrated case studies show how the Desakota criteria interact with each other. The authors identify research gaps and challenges for understanding the influence of Desakota on vulnerability and poverty, with particular emphasis on the role played by ecosystem services.