This paper reports on a project that explores the opportunities and challenges for compliance with safe building codes for disaster resilience, focusing on two countries – Bangladesh and Nepal. Recent disasters in both countries highlight a significant problem of non-compliance with building codes. However, these disasters have brought institutional and community awareness of the importance of safe building codes, presenting a germane opportunity to explore the issues associated with compliance. Building codes do exist in the two countries, but due to socio-economic, political and cultural conditions compliance is generally lacking or limited, particularly in the large informal building sector. There is thus a need for understanding how these codes might be more widely adopted to enable disaster resilience. Collaboration between partner universities in these countries with experience in this field address: sharing the understanding that evidence-based knowledge is a critical component in the commitment to local action; improving institutional and community awareness of the importance of compliance with/barriers to enforcement of codes; fostering communities of collaborative practice; and developing local and international dissemination networks. A log-frame approach indicates the rationale, assumptions and expected outcomes of the project. The project is at a preliminary stage and this paper discusses the framework associated with the exploration of barriers and enablers to building codes compliance.