Google will award $1.6 million in prize money to four non-profit groups submitting winning proposals to help Brazil combat lingering social ills, the company announced Monday.
The Internet giant said it also will offer technical assistance to help the organizations start their projects.
"Brazil, the third country where we are launching this contest, is one of Google's biggest markets in the world," said Fabio Coelho, head of the company's Brazilian operations, told reporters in Sao Paulo.
Google officials said they anticipate receiving thousands of entries from thousands of NGOs in the contest. Winners will be announced in May.
Google has launched similar contests in Britain and in India, where projects were created to promote solar energy and improve access to potable water in rural communities.
Brazil -- a rising social power with a powerful middle class -- nevertheless is struggling to combat economic inequality going back generations.
About half of Brazil's 200 million people have Internet access.